defends decision to reduce beds at Burnham-On-Sea Hospital
NHS has this week defended its decision to cut eight beds at Burnham-On-Sea's
War Memorial Hospital.
Partnership NHS Foundation Trust told Burnham-On-Sea.com that
the cutbacks are part of a raft of changes across the county.
Victoria Eld told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "While we recruit extra
staff at Burnham-On-Sea War Memorial Community Hospital, we will
temporarily close up to eight beds. We will constantly monitoring
the impact for patients."
are temporary bed reductions and no decisions on long term closures
will be made ahead of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Groups
Community Services Review."
no stroke rehabilitation beds are included in bed reductions -
we will be working closely with the CCG on their review of stroke
added: "There will also be no job losses, and no staff moved
from their current base wherever possible."
will engage fully with staff and stakeholders on the local impact
of these temporary closures and make sure that any changes are
introduced in a phased way to ensure we maintain appropriate access
and patient safety."
went on to explain the reason that the beds are being cut at the
hospital: "We are investing £1.3 million into community
health and mental health services to implement the Governments
new Staffer Staffing recommendations. These were developed by
the government in response to the Francis Report into the tragic
events at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust."
part of those recommendations, NHS Trusts are required to agree
staffing levels on a ward by ward basis and publish compliance
against those levels each month. To support this, Somerset Partnership
has agreed new staffing levels for each of the community hospital
and mental health wards. This is based on a ratio of one registered
nurse to seven patients, during the day, and one registered nurse
to every ten patients overnight, but is individually tailored
to meet the specific care needs of patients on individual wards."
is clear evidence that directly links staffing levels on the wards
to the quality of care provided, and improved outcomes for patients,
when nurses and health care assistants have time and the skills
to deliver the necessary level of care and support. The extra
funding of £1.3 million will allow us to increase the number
of registered nurses so that we have a consistent level of staffing
available at peak times, generally around meal times and later
in the evening."
to make these changes, and to use our staff as efficiently as
possible, a number of beds in community hospitals and mental health
wards will be closed on a temporary basis. Not all of our wards
have bed numbers that are a neat multiple of seven. So, for example,
where a ward may have 16 beds it will be reduced to 14 beds so
these can be staffed on the 1:7 ratio."
currently have a considerable challenge in recruiting nurses and
currently have a significant number of vacancies, mirroring the
national shortage of qualified nurses. While we have invested
the further £1.3 million to recruit more nursing staff,
these vacancies will require the Trust to temporarily close beds
while we recruit. We know from our recent success in recruiting
nurses to the new Bridgwater Community Hospital and specialist
emergency nurse practitioners to our MIUs, that we can attract
qualified staff. But it takes time, to so in the meantime we may
need to temporarily close some additional community hospital beds
and a small number on our mental health wards while we run our
temporary closures will add to the existing agreement made with
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, as part of the Trusts
contribution to the Governments efficiency savings."
these changes to ward configurations has been done in line with
a number of key commitments from the Board of Somerset Partnership.
Most importantly there are no proposals to fully close any community
hospital. We remain absolutely convinced that community hospitals
have an important role in the provision of community services
in Somerset and see a future role for all of them."