Hospital staff hit by sickness bug
HEALTH officials say they have been forced to close half the beds at a cottage hospital after staff were hit by a sickness bug.Aldeburgh Hospital is phasing in the closure of 18 of its 36 beds with immediate effect.
HEALTH officials say they have been forced to close half the beds at a cottage hospital after staff were hit by a sickness bug.
Aldeburgh Hospital is phasing in the closure of 18 of its 36 beds with immediate effect.
The decision follows an outbreak of a diarrhoea and vomiting bug among staff, compounded by long term sickness. Three staff are currently on long term sickness leave and agency staff have been filling in.
A spokesman said the problem was among staff, rather than patients.
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"It's a short term measure to deal with the sickness level," he said.
Suffolk East Primary Care Trusts say they are hoping to re-open the beds on a phased basis from January.
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Janice Steed, interim director for service delivery and improvement at Suffolk East Primary Care Trusts said: "Due to an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting, compounded by existing long term sickness, the very difficult decision has been taken by the PCT to temporarily take a maximum of 18 beds out of operation from Aldeburgh Hospital.
"This unprecedented level of sickness amongst staff has meant that keeping these beds open would not be clinically safe. We have had to use a large amount of agency/pool staff.
"However, we have become concerned at the strain that this is now putting on to existing staff and that this is not a sustainable position.
"The PCT will be working actively with Ipswich Hospital Trust, Social Care, and local GP practices, and is actively exploring ways to minimise the impact. This will include close management of discharge and support arrangements. The impact of this is being closely monitored on a daily basis.
"All efforts are being made to ensure that the beds can be reopened as soon as possible, with a view to reopen on a phased basis from January."