The 17-bed inpatient ward at Midhurst Community Hospital is being temporarily wound down because of fears over patient safety.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust announced the move today, Friday, April 15, and will start the process immediately.
“The trust has been forced to take decisive action after a recent deterioration in staffing levels meant that it could no longer guarantee patient safety,” it said in a statement.
“This follows long-term challenges securing either permanent or agency nursing staff available to work in the Midhurst area.”
The temporary closure of the 17-bed Bailey Ward will allow the trust to ‘explore solutions with the local community with the aim of addressing the issue as soon as possible’, it said.
Other services at Midhurst Community Hospital are not affected.
The 11 patients currently on the ward will be moved to additional beds the trust is opening up at other sites, following consultation with the patients, their families and carers.
Dr Richard Quirk, medical director at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust said: “The decision to temporarily close the ward has been taken in the interests of patient safety.
“This has not been an easy decision, we have looked at every available option open to us.
“We have run numerous recruitment campaigns and also tried to bring in agency nurses.
“The simple fact is that the registered nurses we need are not available in this area. We ask that any registered nurses who might be interested in working in Midhurst get in contact with our recruitment team.
“We are working with Midhurst residents and Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to discuss potential solutions so that we can address these issues as soon as possible.”
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