Army helping convert hospital buildings on the Isle of Wight

A detachment of 40 soldiers has been deployed to help provide an extra 200 beds for Covid-19 patients on the Isle of Wight.

The personnel from the Scots Guards arrived on the island at the weekend and will help convert parts of St Mary’s Hospital in Newport into in-patient accommodation.

Maggie Oldham, chief executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “Our teams at the hospital and in our ambulance, community and mental health services have risen to the challenges of the last few weeks and we are hugely grateful for their hard work.

“I am glad to welcome the Scots Guards to help us bring in 200 new beds to our hospital site.

“Having these brave men and women working alongside us will give us the extra support we need to get this huge amount of work done as quickly as possible.”

Dave Stewart, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said: “It is comforting to know that we now have the military’s aid for the plans we have to support our community throughout these unprecedented times.”

Work at St Mary’s includes converting the Laidlaw Day Hospital, the Education Centre and the Outpatients Appointments and Records Unit into in-patient accommodation.