Hospital ward to close over staff shortages

A WARD at Bridlington Hospital is to close after staff shortages prompted fears over patient safety.

Thornton Ward has 24 beds, but only 14 have recently been used as not enough registered nursing staff have been recruited.

Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the Bessingby Road hospital, said many staff have worked additional hours and have given up annual leave to support their colleagues.

The inpatient ward will close "temporarily" next week and the trust said the move will be kept under constant review, with recruitment continuing.

It said there is a lack of registered nursing staff, despite advertisements placed on the NHS Jobs website, contacting students who are due to qualify at local universities, and advertising and holding an open day at Bridlington Hospital.
As well as announcing the closure of Thornton Ward, the trust has also outlined changes affecting other wards.
Patients on Kent Ward, which has 28 beds, will move to the newly refurbished Johnson Ward. Waters Ward, which has 24 beds and has also been refurbished, will remain open.

Teresa Fenech, director of nursing and deputy chief executive at the trust, said: "We will be continuing to increase outpatient, diagnostics and day care facilities and will be increasing the number of patients being treated in the theatres at Bridlington Hospital as day cases from September 1.

"We are still working to open Lloyd Ward – a day case facility – as a short-stay, overnight ward early next year."
The trust said it is meeting with staff affected by the move and will be working with them to agree any changes to their working patterns.

Some staff could move to other wards at Bridlington Hospital, while others could move to Scarborough Hospital.
Ms Fenech said: "No staff will be made redundant.

"Recruitment will still continue and the situation will be kept under constant review."

Mick Pilling, 63, chairman of Save Bridlington Hospital Action Group, said the closure of Thornton Ward was "another nail in the coffin" for the hospital, which has already seen cardiac and acute medial services moved to Scarborough.

He said: "Cut after cut has been made. What next?

"We are going to be left with a shell of a hospital."

Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust