AN NHS trust is set to launch a £1 million nursing recruitment drive to address a hospital staffing shortage.
Sussex Community NHS Trust made the announcement following a review of its staffing levels within its inpatient units.
Chief nurse Susan Marshall said: “Delivering high quality, safe and effective patient care is our top priority and ensuring appropriate staffing levels is key.
“In line with other trusts across the country, we are scaling back the additional beds we opened at Bognor War Memorial Hospital and Salvington Lodge, in Worthing, over the winter, and due to current staffing pressures this is taking place slightly sooner than planned.”
The trust’s commissioners have agreed to source additional beds elsewhere in the community to ensure patients receive the ‘appropriate’ care.
Paul Somerville, Sussex Community NHS Trust’s marketing and stakeholder engagement manager, said: “Until we can resolve our issues in regards to staffing, it’s been agreed we are not taking on any additional patients until we have adequate staff.
“There is a national shortage for nursing staff it’s not an isolated issue for us as a trust.”
According to Mr Somerville, the scaling back of the beds would usually happen in the summer months.
Rumours had begun to circulate that the hospitals could be closing. However, Mr Somerville moved swiftly to dismiss them, saying they would ‘definitely not’ be closing.
Mrs Marshall added: “We would like to assure local people that Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital and Salvington Lodge are absolutely not closing. Our staff deliver a high standard of safe and effective patient care for hundreds of local patients at this hospital every day.”
As a temporary measure, one of the wards at Bognor will not take new admissions until staffing issues are resolved.