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When it’s not a 999 emergency call 111 – the NHS non-emergency number. Pharmacies can also provide urgent advice & help

As temperatures rise across the Island, the number of people attending St Mary’s Hospital is also reaching peak levels again with very poorly people needing to be admitted to hospital wards at St Mary’s.

The Island’s NHS is reminding the public to make use of pharmacies and NHS 111 for non-urgent health advice and avoid attending the Beacon Centre unless it is urgent. Most will welcome the hot weather, but it is important to make sure it doesn't harm you or anyone you know. Simple advice such as ensuring you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and cover up when out in the sun by wearing a hat and applying sun cream should be followed.

Nikki Turner, IoW NHS Trust Deputy Chief Operating Officer, said: “The current picture is not a particularly good one; we are working really hard to maintain the flow of patients needing to be admitted to hospital for urgent care and making sure that patients who are fit and ready to leave hospital are discharged quickly.

“We have been working closely with families, friends and partner organisations to ensure patients are cared for in the most appropriate setting, either in the community or at home and we are grateful for the continued support from relatives as, without their help, we would have an even greater challenge in getting patients discharged from hospital.”

Nikki continued: “Our main priority is to make sure those people in need of urgent or emergency care receive help at the right time and in the right place, and so we would ask that only people who really need to attend the Beacon Centre or Emergency Department should do so. The Beacon Centre has been busy with long waiting times of up to 6 hours on some days. If it’s something urgent, but it’s not an emergency, we ask you to call 111 first before making a visit to the hospital. The Island based 111 service at St. Mary’s Hospital is there to make sure Islanders get the right help.”

The general advice to the public is as follows:

  • If you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency, call NHS 111. You can telephone 111, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NHS Choices website is also available around the clock at and includes advice on staying safe in the sun.
  • The Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital and 999 are for life-threatening emergencies, such as:
    • loss of consciousness
    • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
    • persistent, severe chest pain
    • breathing difficulties
    • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
    • if you have been referred by your GP for urgent assessment
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