EXTRA hospital beds are planned at St Mary’s Hospital during the winter to ease pressures on the health system.
The NHS Isle of Wight Trust planned the 18 extra beds — 12 beds on St Helens ward and six on Whippingham ward — to take the number of inpatient beds from 232 to 250.
The six beds on Whippingham Ward opened last Friday, while the 12 beds on St Helens ward may be opened depending on patient levels.
The need for the beds is to be reviewed later in January.
Four beds on the rehabilitation ward, which were set for closure, are also due to remain open throughout the winter months.
A report into the hospital’s winter planning also said it would ensure wards were safe, with sufficient members of staff, and extra schemes, such as crisis response and acute GP support, were in place to avoid unnecessary admissions.