Helston hospital staff shortages prompt temporary closure of Poltair beds (From This is The West Country)
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Helston hospital staff shortages prompt temporary closure of Poltair beds
11:36am Friday 5th October 2012 in Cornwall
Staff shortages at Helston Community Hospital have prompted the temporary closure of hospital beds near Penzance.
Staff from Poltair Hospital at Madron have been drafted in to help out at Helston, as well as Edward Hain at St Ives, while long-term replacements can be found.
This decision has resulted in all beds at Poltair being closed for a while until additional staff are recruited to add to the appointments already made.
Peninsula Community Health, which runs all three hospitals and provides NHS community health services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said Poltair currently had an “extremely low” number of patients currently using the beds, making this redeployment possible with minimal impact on patients.
Kevin Baber, chief executive of the company, described the decision to temporarily close Poltair as “regrettable”, but said: “We have reached the position where we have so few patients in Poltair at the moment that it makes sense to use the staff capacity we have to strengthen other sites.”
He said Peninsual was doing its best to recruit staff and now planned to take the recruitment drive nationally to bring people in from outside the county if necessary.
Mr Baber added: “The temporary closure of any community hospital is regrettable but it makes sense to maximise bed availability in the West by concentrating resources on our other sites to ensure those beds can remain safely staffed and available.”
The hospital is consulting with affected patients and their relatives to ensure their medical needs can continue to be met locally.
Forty six community beds remain fully operational in West Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly.
It is expected that the national recruitment campaign will be launched within a fortnight.