Vectis Steam Wheel & Wagon Works, Newport.

Offices:- 162 Lower High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight
Proprietor: Mr James Guy, Senr.
These notable works were started as far back as the year 1850 by their present respected proprietor, Mr James Guy, senr., whose name has thus far, for over forty years been associated withthe wheel and waggon trade of Newport. The works are situated close to the railway viaduct, taking in several of the arches of that structure, and having offices which front upon High Street. They cover a considerable area of ground, and are admirably appointed for the purpose of the trade carried on, the smithy, machine shop, waggon-building shop, and other departments being equipped with every appliance to facilitate the progress of the industry. In the machine shop we were particularly struct with an invention of Mr Guy’s for cutting the tongues of spokes. By this cleaver apparatus the spokes of an entirewheel can be cut in the very short space of three minutes, and with a great saving of labour. Another of his inventions is also in use here, viz., a contrivance for wheel binding, by which the neccessity of hammering the tyre on to the wheel is quite obviated, and better results are obtained. These appliances indicate that thought and study Mr. Guy has brought to bear upon his industry, every deepartment of which is conducted in a manner tendingtowards continuous progress and improvement. We believe that Mr. Guy was the first builder to turn out spring vans and light spring trolleys, and these have always been noted speciality of his works, as also are
all kinds of waggons and trademen’s carts, in which he combines the merits of strenght, lightness and neat appearance in a marked degree, and are made from throughly dry-seasoned timber. All Mr. Guy’s work is favourably known for superior finish, as well as for solidity, and he maintains his reputation in these respects by careful personal supervision. Repairs of every description are carefully carried out, and having an efficient staff of skilled workmen in his employ, Mr. Guy is in a position to execute all orders entrusted to him with promptitude and satisfaction to his customers.His work can always be relied upon and his prices are the lowest, consistant with good quality-two circumstances that have won for him the support and confidence of a large and valuable connection.
Source: victorian directory

Bouquet for Island Roads

Having dropped my wife off at Ryde Pier head for the Portsmouth ferry, I assume my journey home would be straight forward.

However, seeing that it was raining, Island Roads decided it would be a good time to close a number of road in Ryde, Why I do not know, or care.

The following roads were closed George Street, Dover Street Union Street Church Lane and access to the High Street was blocked, it would also appear that Melville Street was also closed, there may have been others.

I  wanted to get to Binstead Road to make my way home and spent 45 minutes going round Ryde trying to find a way out of the labyrinth of closed road and so did a lot of other motorist.

The was not a single member of the above organisation helping sort out the shambles– congratulations Island Roads can I bill you for the petrol wasted.

New appointment of new Chairman at St Mary’s Hospital announced.



.New Chair for Isle of Wight NHS Trust announced

The NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has today confirmed the appointment of Eve Richardson as Chair of Isle of Wight NHS Trust.  Isle of Wight NHS Trust is the Island’s unique provider of ambulance, community, hospital and mental health and learning disability services and serves a population of 140,000 with 2.5m visitors per annum on an offshore Island which is only accessible by sea and air.

Eve has spent much time on the Island both for pleasure and for work.  She was born in Southampton from a sea-faring family and joined the NHS as a National Graduate Trainee. One of her very early assignments included supporting the new build project of St Mary’s Hospital. She has been a successful leader in the NHS and in the voluntary sector. She has also run an international health and care consultancy supporting a range of services and Boards in the UK and abroad to improve  their services and actively engage with their communities.

Eve enjoyed a successful career as Chief Executive at Homewood NHS Trust  where working with a creative Board and partners in Surrey  they set up new models of integrated care and support, working closely with local communities. She has also held a range of Non Executive roles at Board level on Housing Associations and she served for two terms as a Non-Executive Director of The Ridgeway Partnership NHS Trust, in Oxfordshire until 2008 and was its Champion for Older People.

Eve, her husband and three cats moved permanently to St. Lawrence, Isle of Wight in 2014 after retiring as Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care, the umbrella charity set up by Government to improve end of life care services across all sectors. She took it through three key phases of growth over 15 years working closely with the NHS, social care and leading national and local charities, including services on the Island. She was asked to set up and lead a new national coalition as part of the First National End of Life Care Strategy in 2008 to raise public awareness about the importance of talking about end of life wishes and recording in care plans so they can be met.   Eve was also asked to join the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge Health and Care Champion Group in 2013 and became an active member.   She was awarded an OBE in 2015.

Speaking about her appointment Ms Richardson said: “I am looking forward to being the Trust Chair and working with everyone at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and also with the Island’s commissioners, partners and leaders within the wider health and social care and housing communities to improve our services and make the most of the ‘Island Pound’, given that we all have scarce resources. I am sure that my range of experience will be helpful to the Island. With the recent announcement of the development of new models of care for the Island under the ‘My Life a Full Life‘ programme and the Island’s status as a Vanguard site in the national New Models of Care initiative, we have a lot to do together and to also actively engage with our communities and  the range of people who use our services.  I want everyone in the Trust to play a full part in this new programme.”

Welcoming Eve’s appointment Karen Baker, Chief Executive Officer at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “Eve has extensive experience of working with health and social care organisations both as a Chief Executive and as a Non- Executive in partnership NHS Trusts.   Eve returns to us with a breadth of experience which I know she will use to help us in our endeavours to reshape health and social care on the Island.”

Others welcoming the appointment include:

  • Penny Emerit, Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority said: “Our experience has shown the importance of strong leadership in successfully delivering a high standard of care to patients in a sustainable way.  We are confident that Eve has the experience to lead the Isle of Wight NHS Trust as it works to improve its services for patients and progress its exciting Vanguard programme.”
  • Linda Fair, Trust Member and Chairman of the Trust’s Patient Council said: “The Patient Council looks forward to meeting and working with Eve.  As we develop new models of care under the My Life a Full Life programme it will be essential that service users and carers along with Members are fully involved in shaping the new arrangements.”
  • Dr Michelle Legg, Ryde GP and Chair of One Wight Health, the Island’s GP collaborative, said: “Eve has been a strong supporter of the Island’s efforts to improve dementia care, working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group and My Life a Full Life partners. She has helped us to shape a strategy for dementia services on the Island which is clearly aligned to national thinking and meets local needs. I look forward to working with her in her new role.”

Non-executive appointments to NHS Trusts made by the NHS TDA are subject to the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Ms Richardson has been appointed from 17th August 2015 until 16th August 2017 and is entitled to receive a remuneration of £21,105 per annum.  She has declared no political activity on behalf of any political party in the last five years other than her support for the Independent Parliamentary Candidate in the 2015 General Election.

The previous Chairman, Danny Fisher, served as Chairman of the NHS Trust and its predecessor organisation, the Primary Care Trust, for eight and a half years until he stepped down in July 2015.  Paying tribute to Danny, Karen Baker said: “Danny played an important role in the development of the Trust.  He was a huge supporter of the islands bid for Vanguard status as he strongly believed that integration would ensure safe and sustainable services for the future.   He formally took on chairmanship of the Island’s NHS organisation – then known as a Primary Care Trust – in October 2006.   Danny was with us as we brought together services, introduced the Integrated Care Hub, built the Helipad, East Cowes Health Centre and Ryde Health and Wellbeing Centre and saw the introduction of the delivery of high dose antibiotics to people with suspected sepsis.  In addition to his various roles around the Island – Deputy Lieutenant, involvement with agriculture and green energy firm Pure Green – he has been a staunch supporter of the NHS and we have much to be grateful to him for.”

The majority of services provided by Isle of Wight NHS Trust are commissioned and funded by Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England and Isle of Wight Council.



Pressure on the local health & social care services

St Mary's Hospital c 1990  Source unknown c 1990.

Urgent message from St Mary’s Hospital.

At 11:40am today (12 August), the Isle of Wight NHS. Trust declared a Major internal incident within the hospital and this afternoon, a system wide Black Alert was called.

This has resulted in all day surgery, routine and outpatient clinics at St Mary’s Hospital being cancelled from this afternoon. The exceptions are some children’s outpatient appointments, maternity services, oncology clinics and walk-in blood tests which will continue as planned, as below:

  • Paediatric outpatients and Hysteroscopy Clinic in Maternity are both continuing to run as normal.
  • The Phenylketonuria (PKU) Clinic in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will run as planned tomorrow (Thursday, 13 August)
  • Children’s Outpatients will run as planned tomorrow morning
  • Haematology clinics are still running as usual, although there may be some cancellations where patient transport is unable to collect patients
  • There is still a walk-in service for blood tests at St Mary’s Hospital
  • Patients should still attend oncology clinics at St Mary’s Hospital

All community service clinics, including those based at St Mary’s Hospital, are not affected by the current situation.

Please do not attend any healthcare setting if you have had symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea within the last 48 hours without seeking the advice of from the 111 service.

It is expected that routine appointments will also be cancelled for the remainder of this week. On Tuesday, we took the difficult decision that all elective (planned) operations would be cancelled for the remainder of this week.

This is to enable clinical staff to focus on setting up emergency clinics, to help us to continue to see urgent cases from the Emergency Department.

Why have we reached this situation?

We apologise to all patients who have had their appointment and/or procedure cancelled.  The decision to cancel any appointment or procedure is not taken lightly, or without full consideration of the potential impact to the patients concerned, however we have reached a point whereby patient safety may be compromised if we continue to accept patients. As the current demand on our services is too great, the hospital cannot continue to operate business as usual. We are, however, doing everything we can to prioritise our fast track cancer patients.

The situation is down to number of reasons, but it is mainly due to bed capacity in the hospital and in the community. We have around 14 medically fit patients who can’t move out of the hospital due to a lack of nursing home beds. A large number of nursing home beds have recently closed for a number of reasons. Other reasons include patients waiting to have a package of care in their own home.

What are we doing about it?

The Trust is continuing to work with the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) local authority’s social service teams and the Island’s nursing and residential care homes to ensure those ready to leave hospital can be found appropriate placements.

Families and carers of patients who are fit to be discharged from hospital are being asked to do all they can to help ensure that their relatives and clients can leave hospital to be cared for in a more suitable environment as soon as they are ready. This may include supporting families to take their relative back to the mainland or supported care nearer to the relatives home.  It is well known that patients recover more quickly when in their own home or a non-hospital setting.

We are continuing to ask patients whether they would be willing to travel to the mainland for treatment or convalescence. We are also exploring whether there are any nursing care beds on the mainland for short term placement, that could accommodate patients who are ready to leave hospital.

We are very grateful for the support of our NHS workforce, partners and colleagues, including Age UK who have continued to help us ensure that patients who are medically fit can be allowed back home. This has included making sure those patients’ homes have the necessary equipment so that they can be safe in their own environments.

We are also increasing our nursing capacity to enable us to open more beds.

Medical Assessment Unit Events Cancelled

It is with regret that we have had to take the decision to cancel the Official Opening and Public Open Day of our new Medical Assessment Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August. This is due to the significant and ongoing pressure our health services are experiencing.  We apologise for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause to those who were planning to attend.

Where to get advice for non life-threatening cases

A&E. and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.  Your local high-street pharmacy can help you deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains.

If you feel it’s not a 999 emergency, but you need medical help fast, dial 111.  NHS. 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Alternatively, to find out where your local NHS. services are, go to and use the service finder.

Advice for older people

We are advising elderly people:

  1. If you’re feeling under the weather, get help as soon as possible. See your local pharmacist or get advice from []. The earlier, the better.
  2. Speak to your friends, family or carer if you are feeling under the weather. They can help you to get advice from your local pharmacist or from []. The earlier, the better.
  3. If you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat, tell your friends, family or carer before it gets worse. The earlier, the better.
  4. Getting advice from your local pharmacist or by visiting []early may help prevent your bad cough, trouble breathing, cold, or sore throat from getting worse. The earlier, the better.
  5. Local pharmacists provide expert advice to help you manage your long-term condition or can even help you if you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat. They have longer opening hours than GP practices, and most have a private consultation area. They’ll also tell you if they think you should see a doctor.

We are advising the friends, families and carers of older people:

  1. If you are visiting or caring for an elderly relative or friend who is unwell, get advice from []or see your local pharmacist to help manage their care. The earlier, the better.
  2. If you know of an elderly relative or friend who has a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat, get advice from []or see your local pharmacist before it gets worse. The earlier, the better.
  3. If you’re feeling under the weather, get help as soon as possible. Get advice from []or see your local pharmacist. The earlier, the better.

Local pharmacists provide expert advice to help you manage your long-term condition or can even help you if you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat. They have longer opening hours than GP practices, and most have a private consultation area. They’ll also tell you if they think you should see a doctor.




Church Litten, Newport

This is an extract of Newport’s history from the past and part of a project of all residents and trades from the 14th century.

Church Litten – Prior to 1583, the land which is now the old burial ground was the archer’ ground, where the shooting butts stood.

Church Litten originated as a cemetery dating from 1582 when Newport was hit by the plague. Previously Newport had no burial ground, being part of the parish of Carisbrooke. ‘Litten’ comes from a Saxon word meaning a cemetery. The area has been an open space since the 1950’s. (‘Isle of Wight Curiosities’, Jack Jones 1989, pg80.)
‘St Thomas’s Grave Yard’ is shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey of 1862 at 1:2500 scale and also on the much larger scale 1:500 Survey of the same date. The 1:2500 survey shows individual coniferous and deciduous trees in the graveyard, which was bounded on the western side by a row of deciduous trees separating it from the back gardens of properties in Orchard Street. A line of deciduous trees is also shown along ‘Church Litton Lane’ which flanked the eastern edge of the burial ground. The boundary between the parish of Newport (part of Carisbrooke Parish until 1858) and a detached portion of the parish of St Nicholas ran along the western and southern sides of St Thomas’s Graveyard (the parish of St Nicholas consisted of various parcels of land belonging to the medieval Chapel of St Nicholas situated within Carisbrooke Castle).
‘St Nicholas Villa’ is shown on the Ordnance Survey maps of 1862 immediately to the south of the graveyard, surrounded by an ornamental garden and plant nursery. The villa was clearly named after the parish of St Nicholas in which it was situated, although on the 1860 Census the building was called Bradley Lodge and by the time of the 1906-1907 Ordnance Survey this original name for the building was again being used. The Census reveals that in 1881 and 1891 the property was owned by a Benjamin Vibert, one of whose daughters ran a school for young ladies at the premises. It is understood that Bradley Lodge was affected by the bombing of the Gould Hibberd and Randall Lemonade Factory on the east side of Church Litten Lane during the Second World War and was demolished after the war.
On the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey of 1906-1907 ‘St Thomas’s Grave Yard’ is labelled ‘Disused’ but the present public park was not created until the 1950s, when the formal rose garden at the north end of the park was also laid out in an area formerly occupied by housing. The new park included both the former area of St Thomas’s Graveyard and the site of Bradley Lodge/St Nicholas Villa with its surrounding grounds. The inclusion of the grounds of Bradley Lodge in the new public park explains the curious dog leg in the western boundary of the park towards its southern end. Houses in Orchard Street were demolished in the late 1970s and the Lord Louis Library built in this area. The boundary wall with Church Litten Park was rebuilt at this time and gravestones from the former cemetery were placed against it. One surviving funerary monument within the park is a memorial to Valentine Gray, an early nineteenth century boy chimney sweep.
Litten Park is owned and maintained by the Isle of Wight Council. A Children’s Play Area was built within the park in about 2003.
Valentine Gray 1813.
1822 and the Ramoneur Company.
In 1822 a nine year old boy, Valentine Gray, who was one of the many chimney climbing boys.
was found dead in the filthy outhouse where he was forced to sleep. It was at the back of a house, perhaps better described as a hovel, situated in one of the numerous slum alleys radiating off Pyle Street in Newport. Medical examination showed that his body was covered with bruises and the inquest learnt that his death was due to a severe blow or blows to the head. Following the inquest Valentine Gray’s employer and his wife were charged and imprisoned for manslaughter. Both the local and national press reports of the inquest and the subsequent trial were extensive. They aroused much public anger not only in the Island but also across the whole country that children of his age and even younger could be treated so badly. It stimulated the already growing drive for new and effective legislation to protect youngsters in factories and elsewhere. It also led others to embark on philanthropic ventures such as that of the Ramoneur Company recorded below.
Here on the Island compassion, or was it perhaps more a sense of guilt and shame, led to the
erection of a memorial put up by public subscription. It still stands nearly two hundred years
later in Church Litten where it remains a pertinent memorial to him. Another reminder today of Valentine Gray’s short and wretched life is a small shopping complex recently built between Scarrots Lane and Pyle Street, close to where he lived for the last miserable years of his life, for it is called Gray’s Walk and has a suitable plaque to perpetuate his name and the suffering of climbing
To the memory of Valentine Gray
the little sweep
Interred January the 5th A.D. 1822 in the 10th year of his age
In testimony of the general feeling
for suffering innocence
this monument is erected by
public subscription

Church Litten (now often called Litten Park) was the burial ground for the town of Newport. The parish church of St Thomas had no space around it for a burial ground
The trial in 1822 of the Davis the Newport chimney sweep provoked national fury and was the catalyst needed to raise public awareness that was to change the attitude towards the ill treatment of children like Valentine. Above is shown the plaque on the walk in the little courtyard at the centre of Gray’s Walk, reminding passers by that that his short life* of misery was certainly not in vain and the part the Island played in changing the law. (*Valentine was in his tenth year) Like so many others in the same situation he came from a pauper family and taken from care of the poor house by the sweep Davies to work for him. He had been born in the nearby Hampshire village across the Solent of Alverstone. For the authorities it was one less name on their list, a saving of money and for employer a source of cheap labour. It appears that scant regard was taken for the future welfare of him or those like him.Campaigns by such eminent politicians as the then Lord Shaftsbury, pamphlets and books such as the ‘Water Babies’ by Charles Kinsley resulted in laws that ended climbing boys being forced to sweep the chimneys of wealthy householder both here on the Island as well as on the mainland. Locally things started to move and by 1828 the Hampshire Telegraph
Was able to print: “Newport July 26 The Rev P. Geary, the mayor of Newport, with the kind
attention which he has shown to the needs of the Inhabitants since his appointment to the important office of Chief Magistrate, has, in complying with the requisition most numerously and respectably signed, appointed a Public Meeting to be held at the Guildhall, on Tuesday the 29th inst to take into
consideration the proper measures to be adopted for superseding the necessity of Climbing Boys, and substituting the use of Machines in Sweeping Chimneys. A large assemblage of the principal inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, both of ladies and gentlemen, is expected”
Many will be able to recall Charles Kinsley’s ‘Water Babies’ and no doubt the reforming work
of Lord Shaftsbury, but it is expected that few will have any knowledge of the Ramoneur
Company and its achievements. It was going strong, using its 1842 Patent no 9284, long before the legislation of 1864 “ Act for the Regulation of Chimney Sweepers” and its penalty of £10 for offenders.
The patent of Sir Francis Desanges of Portman Square London and Anguish Durant of Long
Castle, Shropshire was for “Improvements in apparatus for sweeping and cleaning chimneys or flues, and extinguishing fires therein, which we intend to call Ramonuer”. The patent was created around the design of special brushes on rods which had several universal pivots that could get the brush into every nook and cranny thus eliminating the use of climbing boys see the illustration showing the brush. Chimneys built in many of the larger houses of this period were often quite complex in design with many nooks and bends with some even having branches to several fireplaces. They founded a company of the same name, ‘Ramoneur’. The world can still be found in a large dictionary meaning a chimney sweep. (Today there is a modern national cleaning and service organisation which still uses the name of Ramoneur.)
A circular issued from Southampton read:
“Established for the suppression of Climbing boys, and the more effectual Cleansing of Chimneys and Flues by the use of an efficient Patent Machine; and also toprovide the ‘Agricultural Interest’ with a pure and unadulterated article of Soot.”
The Ramoneur Company received great support from many of the nobility, churchmen and gentry in the area. Although itself not an Island company or invention, the death of Valentine Gray contributed much to its founding. Their principal offices were in Southampton at number 5 Above Bar and they had agents at Portsmouth in Britain Street of St George’s Square in Portsea. There was an Isle of Wight section. They recruited men, not boys, who were paid a reasonable wage and wore a smart and distinctive uniform. The men were encouraged to improve their education whilst in employment and what is perhaps of more significance were provided with accommodation for which they paid rent. Some details of the Isle of Wight Association still exist. In the IW Record Office are preserved details of the local association up to around the year 1850. Part of those reported for the year 1848 are set out below:
Accounts “Isle of Wight Patent Ramoneur” for £215-5s-7d
Wages £153-16s-0d
Cash at Ryde £2-16s-9d
Rent paid by men at Newport £2-6s-8d
General Managers Returns for week ending March 24th 1849
No of sweepings
Totals 916
Gross estimated value of work done £4-1s-2d and soot £1-10-6d
Income for the week £5-11s-8d
Joseph Starling General Manager
Isle of Wight Ramoneur Office at Newport.

An appeal by St Mary’s Hospital

Press Release

7 August 2015

Hand hygiene appeal to protect patients 

Residents on the Isle of Wight are being urged to help prevent further illness to patients at St Mary’s Hospital by practicing good hand hygiene.

The appeal from the Isle of Wight NHS. Trust follows anecdotal evidence of diarrhoea and vomiting cases in the Island’s community.

Shaun Stacey, Chief Operating Officer at St. Mary’s Hospital, said: “Whilst we cannot confirm that these community cases are norovirus, we do have one single confirmed case of the illness in the hospital so it is likely there is also norovirus in the community. We are doing everything we can to ensure the risk of cross-contamination is limited, and this includes maintaining the highest levels of cleanliness. Unfortunately, we are also having to restrict visiting hours on our Stroke Unit. Whilst this is a last resort, it is a necessary step to protect both our staff and patients and to stop this bug in its tracks. Visiting times for Stroke Unit are being restricted to essential visiting only (2-4pm and 7-8pm), and we would kindly request that children are not brought onto the ward at this time.”

“We do also need the public’s support to help us contain this highly contagious illness. You must not visit the hospital, or any healthcare setting, until you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. If you are clear of symptoms and do need to visit, please make sure you clean your hands when you enter and leave the building, as well as entering and leaving clinical areas. Please make sure you use both soap and water, as well as hand gel which is widely available.”

Further details and advice about diarrhoea and vomiting are available on the NHS Choices website


Business Expo 2015

The Isle of Wight Chamber are to host a Business EXPO2015 at the Lakeside Hotel Wootton Bridge on the 23rd September.

Though intended as an event for island businesses it will be open the the general public.

Anyone wanting more information can e-mail or ring 01983 520777 during business hours.

Press release by St Mary’s Hospital, 5th August

.Press Release. 

5th August 2015. 

Major Makeover for Hospital Unit Unveiled
Opportunity to visit and view.

St. Mary’s Hospital is getting ready to unveil its brand new extended Medical Assessment Unit (MAU), which will vastly improve the environment in which patients are cared for whilst their condition is being assessed. Members of the public have a chance to see the unit before it opens to patients later this month.

The hospital is opening its doors to the public on Saturday 15th August between 10:00am to 13:00pm for anyone wishing to have a look around the impressive new facility whilst it is still empty, ahead of being used to care for patients.

Patients will arrive in the Medical Assessment Unit for further tests and treatment, having come from either the Emergency Department or their GP for an urgent medical problem. They may also be surgical day case patients. After being assessed, patients may be allowed home, transferred to another specialist centre, or admitted onto a ward at St Mary’s Hospital so treatment can be continued.  Most will spend a night in the unit.

The new unit will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and is staffed by a team of senior medical and nursing staff dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care.  It has 24 patient beds and, unlike the former unit, has an area devoted to assessing patients who may not need an overnight stay in hospital, but can be allowed home after diagnostic tests and simple treatment. Known as an ambulatory care area, it can see up to six walk-in patients at a time, with the aim of improving the time it takes to see all patients and make it less noisy and disruptive for patients already on the ward.

Another benefit of the new unit is that all emergency patients can now be seen more easily in one place by a number of staff from different professional backgrounds who have different areas of expertise, known as a multi-disciplinary team. They work together to give the best treatment and care possible, and this is a key part of making sure patients are treated in the most appropriate setting and that waiting times for tests and treatment are kept to a minimum.

Commenting on the new unit, Jessy Gulati, Medical Assessment Unit Sister, said: “We are all very excited about the opportunity provided by the new Medical Assessment Unit, to both staff and patients. The bright, new unit looks fantastic and will give us a chance to showcase our passion to constantly innovate and improve the delivery of patient care. At the core of the Trust ‘s principles is the desire to provide quality patient care to everyone, every time and the new unit will help provide a major improvement in service delivery by giving our already excellent nurses the right tools and environment to work in.”

The Medical Assessment Unit relocated to Appley Ward last August and work started to completely reconfigure and fully refurbish the existing accommodation, as well as expand the space by building two extensions.  Robert Graham, Capital Planning and Development Manager, is pleased with the outcome: “The former unit which was often described as ‘rather tired looking’ has been completely transformed and we now have a unit which is bright, modern and spacious creating a much nicer environment for patients, visitors and for staff. The layout has been carefully designed to make best use of the space available. Ward accommodation has been created to afford more privacy to patients and reduce noise. A dedicated ambulatory care area is located at the entrance to the unit to help minimise disruption to existing patients. Overall, it is a fantastic facility that has been designed with the needs of patients and staff at the very forefront.”

At the heart of the unit, a central hub curves around for better observation of patients in order to maximise patient safety. It also helps create a focal point for all aspects of MAU’s diverse team to come together so that continuity of care can be ensured and the exchange of information will become a much slicker and efficient process.

The overall design of the unit has incorporated feedback from the Trust Feedback schemes including the ‘Friends and Family Test’ which collects patient comments about their stay in hospital and ‘Listening into Action’ which enables staff to make practical, positive changes to improve patient care. A common theme was a desire to minimise noise and disruption to existing patients on the ward during the admission process, as well as improve communication between different medical teams to ensure continuity of care and patient safety.

Commenting on the reopening of beds, Chief Operating Officer Shaun Stacey said: “We would usually have beds closed over the summer but we have been through some difficult times recently whilst supporting the new development to be completed.  With the arrival of some additional nurses from the Philippines over the summer we anticipate being able to open more beds during the autumn. It is likely that the Island’s hospital position will remain challenging as we continue to meet the needs of our local population and an ever increasing range of conditions from which they require longer to recover from.   The new MAU will help us better manage patients but we are also working with partners in the My Life a Full Life programme to develop a range of new models of care where many services are provided in localities and/or patient’s own homes.”

The new Medical Assessment Unit is located on Level A (Ground Floor), St. Mary’s Hospital.