Scots Guards arrive on the Isle of Wight to help prepare hospital for expected rise in Coronavirus cases (updated)

As well as Scots Guards, Island volunteers have been assisting to help St Mary’s ramp up for the expected increase in Coronavirus cases

bob seely outside st marys

On Saturday 40 members of the Scots Guards arrived on the Isle of Wight in preparation for the reconfiguration of St Mary’s Hospital – as highlighted earlier in the week.

The hospital is ramping up its capacity in anticipation of an increase in the number of Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. The areas being reconfigured are

  • The Education Centre
  • Laidlaw Day Hospital
  • The Outpatients Appointments and Records Unit

Offering reassurance
Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, made his latest vlog outside St Mary’s this morning, where he explained that he’d met the military personnel. He offered a reassurance that when the expected increase of Covid-19 cases arrives, the hospital, “will be in the best possible situation to deal with that increase”.

Island volunteers
Leif Marriner, an NHS volunteer driver, made a journey to the mainland yesterday to collect paint for the additional beds that Isle of Wight NHS Trust mentioned earlier in the week.

Other Islanders have volunteered to help move items from the hospital to free up space for the extra capacity.

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:

“It’s no secret that across the NHS, and certainly here on the Island, people have been working very hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and under extraordinary pressure.

“Our teams at the hospital and in our ambulance, community and mental health services have risen to the challenges of the last few weeks and we are hugely grateful for their hard work. But we know there is more work to come and we are doing everything we possibly can to be ready.

“I am glad to welcome the Scots Guards to help us bring in 200 new beds to our hospital site. Having these brave men and women working alongside us will give us the extra support we need to get this huge amount of work done as quickly as possible.”

Dave Stewart, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council said,

“It is comforting to know that we now have the military’s aid for the plans we have to support our community throughout these unprecedented times.  

“However, we should never lose sight of the fact that if everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and follows the very clear advice for social distancing and self-isolation, then we can slow down the spread of the virus.  

“We should stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”  

Latest figures
There are a total of 25 confirmed cases of Covid-19 on the Island, with five returned home following treatment and sadly four passed away – all older men with underlying health conditions.

The Government are still urging people to stay home and protect the NHS.

Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).

Social distancing
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.

Seeking advice
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Article edit
8.30am 6th Apr 2020 – comments from Maggie Oldham and Dave Stewart added

Sunday, 5th April, 2020 10:56am



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Newport, Top story

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31 Comments on "Scots Guards arrive on the Isle of Wight to help prepare hospital for expected rise in Coronavirus cases (updated)"

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Are we to expect a surge in cases now we near the 14 days from the schools being closed and the second homers’ arrival.

Astonishingly we have seen second homers and holiday letters arriving this weekend. Grrr!


“Astonishingly we have seen second homers and holiday letters arriving this weekend”

Not really, our Council Leaders, and MP, supports livelihoods over lives.

Rhos yr Alarch

Good article but I think if I hear or read the phrase “ramping up” once more I shall not be responsible for my actions! Is there any context in which “inreased” or “increasing” would not do just as well…? And as for “stay home” rather than “stay at home” don’t even get me started…..!!


I thought Mr Seely was self-isolating at home, having returned to the island from the mainland? and here he is making an unessential journey to St Mary’s, hardly setting a good example.

No doubt Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary will be issuing him with a fine.


The law only applies to certain people.


Well Scotland’s chief medical officer is facing calls to resign over lockdown breach.


Self-isolation only helps his constituents stay safe, whereas self-promotion helps Seely in his quest to climb the greasy pole.

Rather obvious where his priorities lie.


Just for the record, I specifically turned down a junior Gov’t role to a) sit on a Committee and b) stay on the backbenches so I could be as visible as possible speaking for the Island. Your remark is wrong.

Rhos yr Alarch

No-one seems to agree exactly what “self-isolating” actually means, though….


I isolated for seven days, which started ten days ago. I have had no symptoms.


That’s really good to know. So what was your little jaunt out to St Mary’s carpark all about? Couldn’t you have shot your video in your back garden?

Rhos yr Alarch

Now 32 confirmed cases. Really is time for all to take this seriously!


Yep! I was hoping we could get on the right side of the curve, but no. “serious” should have been started 2 weeks ago.! It’s Russian Roulette and you are holding the gun to your own head.Are you feeling lucky ?

Seriously? They are here to “reassure” us? Must be a strange use of the word reassurance that I’ve never heard of before. As for the need for 40 soldiers to physically come to the island to help our skilled local tradesmen to build a few walls and put in some pipes and sockets… Still, it’s good to see that Bob is taking the “Stay at home” and… Read more »

The military will be needed if things kick off in the prisons I guess.


Not prisons – streets.

Prisons already have staff and procedures.

Mark L Francis

Newport McDonalds wifi hotspot more like. That’s where it all kicks off. (well, that & outside Calvert’s of a Friday night.)


A simple THANK YOU to the 40 Scots Guards who are helping us is all that is required. Stay safe.


Yes, troops on the street. Always a good sign of a free society. Not.


Tosh! The Army represents a highly-mobile, well-disciplined supply of labour to achieve the necessary manual tasks in the hospital quickly & efficiently. They are not on the streets, and not in any way oppressing us.


‘well disicplined’? The Guardian has learned that a British soldier was given an unspecified punishment after an Afghan was fatally shot in the neck while praying in a field. In other cases, a soldier punched and knocked out an Afghan, and another fired a flare into an Afghan’s face.


OMG it’s you again! You haven’t got a clue what horrors our British soldiers faced during their deployment to Afghanistan in which 554 died on operations, if you did you’d have more respect for everyone in the Military. Your comments are unnecessary and unwelcome.


We are facing an unprecedented invisible virus killing people. We need every bit of help we can get, we are facing a global crisis fedupbritain


‘I will be volunteering myself to help out where I can’ – seems a bit hollow now.


Usual military decision here,send the Jocks to the Island,and our local lads,P.W.R.R. to Inverness


I wonder if they stopped off on route to pick up some PPE for the island?

Angela Hewitt

What is going on here? All politicians, labour, conservative, green, liberal would be doing the same thing – self promoting themselves. That is how they get elected. Dammed if you do and dammed of you don’t.


The difference is Angela these are unprecedented times, not a time for politicians to prompt themselves, they all should be setting an example to those they represent, which Bob Seely is clearly not doing with his unnecessary trip to St Mary’s to shoot his vlog.


Pipe down all of you this is NOT the time to be taking ‘pot shots’. Whilst your ridiculous ramblings are going on people are dying. Shame on you!


We are told that the MP has actively deterred people visiting the Island for dear of spreading the virus, yet he welcomes in 40 troops with open arms, despite there being ample trades and auxiliary staff here to fulfill the requirements at St Mary’s.


If you’ve got nothing constructive to say, keep quiet!