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Wolverhampton hospital ward for elderly is to close

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A ward is being closed at Wolverhampton's West Park Hospital due to staffing pressures, health bosses have confirmed.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has confirmed that geriatric ward three at the rehabilitation hospital is to close, resulting in the loss of 24 beds.

Staff shortages have been cited as the reason for the closure, with the hospital today saying that staff from the ward will be redeployed to improve staffing levels elsewhere in the hospital, which is based on Park Road West.

Cheryl Etches, chief nurse at the trust, which also runs New Cross Hospital, said: "The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust always strives to provide high quality safe and effective care for patients.

"In line with the national picture, the trust is experiencing significant challenges with regards to the recruitment of nursing staff.

"A decision has therefore been taken to close ward three to admissions at West Park Hospital. This will not adversely affect any patients currently being cared for on this ward.

"This change will also optimise the concentration of nurses and therapists at West Park Hospital and enable the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to deliver a more focused rehabilitation programme."

A trust spokesman added that use of the ward will be phased out gradually, meaning that patients currently being treated there will remain, but that no new patients would be admitted.

A member of staff, who did not want to be named, said that the number of beds lost equates to around half of the geriatric care at West Park.

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The worker said: "We were told that within the month the ward will be no more. When they don't have enough beds at New Cross they move people over to us, so I don't know what they are going to do now. There just isn't the capacity.

"We all know things are tight at the moment, but by closing this ward they are letting down the people of Wolverhampton. and letting down people who have paid into the NHS all their lives.

"I think it is terrible. We are seeing a lot of problems here, but when we were told this about the ward closing, it was just the straw that broke the camel's back and I had to speak out. People deserve to know. Closing ward three means that we are losing half of the geriatric beds."

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