Seven beds in a Grantham hospital ward have had to be closed because of staff shortages.
The Journal received a call to say beds were being closed and there have been comments on the Journal’s Facebook page also alluding to bed and even ward closures.
In response to these comments, a spokesman for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “To maintain high standards of patient care we have made the decision to close seven beds on ward six as a temporary measure while we cover staff shortages in other areas, which have been created by staff leaving the Trust. A recruitment process to fill these vacant posts is currently in place and we are also recruiting agency staff until permanent positions can be filled.
“We are continuing to invest in the development of new services across the hospital site. This includes the introduction of a new ambulatory emergency care (AEC) unit which will provide urgent same day treatment for patients, so that they don’t have to be admitted to hospital where possible.
“We are also creating more palliative care beds with the introduction of a ‘hospice in a hospital’, an exciting partnership with St Barnabas which will see a new six-bed inpatient unit at Grantham – the first venture of its kind in the UK.
“If patients receive their treatment more quickly, the Trust can then look at reducing the number of beds it needs to treat the same number of patients, and this is a success being seen on other hospital sites in the Trust. We are not looking at making any redundancies because of these changes.
“We are also working with our healthcare partners in the community to ensure that patients who are medically fit to go home are discharged in a timely fashion, freeing up more beds for patients who need them.”
A man, who did not wish to be named, told the Journal: “They are taking beds away bit by bit. I have heard they are closing the respiratory ward. They are combining it with the cardiac and stroke wards. They will lose 23 beds. It just seems to be a systematic piecemeal thing they are doing. They can talk all they want about austerity, but it you take Grantham out of the equation there will be a massive hole in medical services.”