Staff shortages close hospital inpatient services
INPATIENT services at Moretonhampstead Community Hospital have been temporarily suspended for an indefinite period.
All other clinics and outpatient sessions, including day treatments, are continuing as normal.
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has been forced to temporarily close the six inpatient beds due to staff shortages, including unfilled vacancies and staff departures.
Dr John Coop, associate medical director, said: "Despite our best efforts to put in place a resilient staffing model for the inpatient beds, the challenge of providing a safe and sustainable clinical service in such a rurally isolated unit has proved too great."
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Over the last six months, the trust has made considerable progress in addressing the significant quality and patient safety concerns that led to the unit's closure in January, 2013.
Given the small number of patients able to be accommodated in the community hospital, the temporary closure will impact on very few patients.
During the closure, the intention is for people who may ordinarily have been an inpatient at Moretonhampstead to be treated in their own homes by the trust's community nursing and rehabilitation teams.
Anybody who cannot be treated at home and requires an inpatient admission will go to Okehampton Community Hospital.