Three wards at St Mary's Hospital are full with patients who do not need to be there, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust has said.
Islanders are being encouraged to 'do their bit' to help ease pressure on services.
More than 70 people — the equivalent of three wards — remain at the hospital, despite being able to be discharged.
The Trust said these people should be in the right place to meet their needs, whether that’s at home or in a different care setting.
Beds in all available clinical areas have been opened, the Trust said, but the situation "is not sustainable with both medical and nursing staff stretched to meet the needs of the patients."
NHS bosses have appealed to Islanders, patients, their families, and friends to help ease the pressure on services.
Steve Parker, Medical Director, said:
“We are doing everything we can to help people leave hospital when they are medically able to. But we need the public’s help.
“We all know about the pressure that our colleagues are under in adult social care – placements are hard to come by and their staff are dealing with similar challenges to the NHS.
“We need Islanders to do their bit to help ease the pressure. In the last fortnight we’ve seen people refusing or delaying their discharge and we know that many patients could go home but need the help of relatives and friends to enable them to do so.”
“We have seen several examples of people declining social care placements because they didn’t want to travel between towns to visit their relatives in a care home a few miles away.”
NHS leaders fear that this could be driving some of the pressure for placements in adult social care and that more people may end up being placed on the mainland as a result.
Juliet Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“All patients are assessed prior to being discharged from hospital to ensure every reasonable step is taken to ensure their safety, but we are seeing a mismatch between needs and expectations in some cases. This means that that people who need to be admitted to a ward for clinical reasons are waiting in the Emergency Department for excessive lengths of time.
“We must be able to get patients home who don’t need to be in a hospital to safely care for acutely sick and unwell patients.”