The medical director of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, has said that within just days military helicopters could be used airlift Coronavirus patients from the Isle of Wight.
Stephen Parker told the Guardian newspaper that he was planning “unthinkable options”, including the evacuation of Covid-19 patients to the mainland.
As one of the smallest hospitals in the country, the medical director said the hospital could become overwhelmed and from messages passed to News OnTheWight by patients the staff are reported to be under enormous pressure.
Four-fold increase of patients
Mr Parker said there had been a four-fold increase in the number of patients being treated at the hospital for Covid-19.
A patient recently discharged told News OnTheWight that they were informed over there were 200 patients with Covid-19 at the hospital, last Tuesday there were 51, sparking a stark warning from the CEO of the NHS Trust, Maggie Oldham.
Isle of Wight NHS Trust have advised that the figure of 200 patients with Covid is not accurate. They say there are less than 100 patients with Covid-19, but they would not give the exact amount.
The NHS Website has a lag on data, but shows that in the week up to 3rd Jan there were 53. The Gov’s Covid dashboard shows that one 5th Jan there were 40 patients with Covid-19.
22 deaths this year
As reported in the weekly figures earlier today, there have been 22 deaths at the hospital since 1st January where the person had either tested positive for Covid-19 or had Covid-19 on their death certificate, taking the cumulative total on the Island to 113.
In April 2020 an exercise to land Chinook helicopters was carried out at Seaclose Park to test and evaluate longstanding helicopter landing site procedures, should they be needed, to transfer patients as a part of the contribution being made by the military in support of the IW NHS Trust during the COVID-19 emergency.
From Tier 1 to Tier 4 in days
When Boris Johnson announced the new tier system after the November Lockdown, the Island was placed in Tier 1.
The rise in cases since the end of October can be seen below – mouseover the graph to see the number of cases each day.
Stewart: “The outcome is in our hands”
Isle of Wight Council leader, Dave Stewart, has called on residents to redouble their efforts and follow the national lockdown rules to stop the spread of the new, more transmissible variant of the virus.
“We must strive to do everything in our power to prevent local services reaching capacity as they have elsewhere. The outcome is in our hands and we must grasp this opportunity to defeat the virus and rebuild our lives.
“Once again, the Island can show its true community spirit by rising to the challenge we face and doing what is required of us. If everyone does what is being asked, we will come through safely.”
Thanks to Andrew for the heads up.
1.10pm 12th Jan 2021 – Comment from DS added
1.45pm 12th Jan 2021 – Clarification to number of people ion hospital
Source: The Guardian