Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Health bosses say the move is ‘temporary’ because of staff shortages.
HALF the beds at South Molton Community Hospital are to close due to staff shortages, it was announced today (Tuesday).
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust said it would only be a temporary measure and last for a few weeks.
It said 10 of the 20 beds would have to close because there were a number of unfilled vacancies and staff shortages across local community hospitals.
Recruitment of more nurses was well under way, said the trust, but there were ‘insufficient staff across the community hospitals to ensure a safe and high-quality inpatient service’.
All other services at South Molton will continue as normal and the four staff displaced by the decision will be moved to Torrington hospital.
“We apologise for any disruption the temporary closure may cause,” said Kate Lyons, trust director of operations.
“We thank the staff at South Molton for their flexibility supporting Torrington at this time.
“Decisions such as this are not taken lightly – and the safety of our patients is our number one priority.
“We have every confidence that this will be a very short reduction in beds and my teams are working very hard to ensure the beds reopen as quickly as possible.”
The trust said most South Molton patients were cared for by community nursing and therapy teams who provided support to enable people to live independently in their own homes.