PRESSURE on health services has led Isle of Wight NHS bosses to cancel some operations and call on the public to avoid using St Mary’s Hospital unless vital.
During the last Bank Holiday weekend, waiting times reached more than three hours at the hospital-based Beacon Centre.
Executive director of nursing and workforce Alan Sheward said the hospital was under a great deal of pressure and that due to a rise in the number of elderly patients they had cancelled a handful of non-urgent operations and therapies.
Mr Sheward said: "With the help of local media we have reminded Islanders that they can assist us by only using hospital services if they really need to.
"I am sure people would much prefer to seek advice from their local pharmacy for minor conditions rather than sit and wait in the Beacon Centre. If it is something that can wait until they can get to see their own GP then it means their GP has access to their full medical history and is better informed to treat them."
He added: "With the May Bank Holiday fast approaching we need everyone to review their medicine cabinets and make sure they’ve got everything they need.
"Many conditions can be treated with medicines available over the counter from your local pharmacist."