Three community wards to remain closed

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Last year we reported on the temporary closure of Community Hospital wards in Shepton Mallet and Chard Community Hospitals.

Today the board of the

Somerset Partnership Trust which is responsible for running the Community Hospitals has confirmed they will remain closed until at least the end of March.

The Board discussed the staffing shortages in the Trust’s community hospitals, the consolidation of the 222 inpatient hospital beds into 10 community hospitals and temporary closure of three of our inpatient wards.

In discussing the staffing levels required to re-open inpatient wards it had to take into account the fact that there are still more 38 full time nurse vacancies, and almost 53 nurse vacancies once the impact of maternity leave and sickness is factored in.

Taking these issues into account, the Board agreed that, although the recruitment position had improved slightly, the staffing situation has not improved sufficiently at this point.

The next Board review of the situation will take place in March.