Halesworth: Bed transfers at Patrick Stead Hospital due to staff shortages

The Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

The Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth. - Credit: EDP pics � 2007

Patients won’t be able to stay overnight at a Suffolk hospital for four months from November due to staff shortages.

Patients requiring overnight care at Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth will be admitted to hospitals in Southwold and Beccles where extra beds will be provided.

Meanwhile, the beds at Patrick Stead will be used for day care patients from Southwold and Beccles.

The transfer of services comes because of difficulties recruiting staff to cover long-term sickness and retirement within the East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) nursing team, reflecting national trends.

To date, agency staff have covered sickness and leave, but in some cases this had been unreliable and ECCH was concerned it was not satisfactory for ensuring the safe running of the overnight ward in Halesworth over a sustained period of time.

ECCH added that overnight beds at Patrick Stead had been under-occupied in recent months.

They added out-patient activity and other clinics and treatments would continue as usual.

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The bus at the Patrick Stead will also be used to transport day care patients to the hospital.

ECCH’s director of adult services Adele Madin said: “Our greatest priority has to be the safety of our patients and our staff. By employing these measures we continue to offer the same level of service across the south Waveney area, albeit aligned in a different way.

“We are continuing to actively recruit new staff and look forward to recommencing the intake of overnight in-patients at Patrick Stead in March.”