Inpatient beds at Wellington Community Hospital will re-open in January, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has announced.
The beds were temporarily closed in August while essential repair works at the hospital were carried out.
Plans to reopen the beds had to be paused in October due to the trust needing to open five additional stroke beds for patients needing specialist rehabilitation. To support the arrangement of staffing these additional beds, existing nursing staff were used.
The announcement said, “Following a review of the staffing situation and some local success in recruitment, the trust is pleased to announce it is able to reopen the beds at Wellington in January.”
Andy Heron, chief operating officer for community services, mental health and learning disabilities at Somerset Partnership, added: “We are pleased that, following our review, we are in a position where we are now able to reopen the inpatient unit at Wellington Community Hospital in January.
“We will be safely transferring the nursing staff back to Wellington and are also in a good position to be able to continue to support the additional stroke beds we have opened in Williton Community Hospital and South Petherton Community Hospital.
“I’d like to thank our staff, patients and the community for their continued support.
“The staffing situation is still fragile as we head into a very busy winter so we will need to keep these staffing levels under review.
“We are very grateful to our patients and local communities in Wellington who have shared their views and ideas on staffing at community hospitals and we want to speak again with communities and patient representatives to get their views on criteria we would use if we had to consider any temporary closures in future.”
For further information about patient engagement plans and to have a say about staffing community hospitals over winter 2018/19 please visit: http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/contact-us/get-involved/community-hospitals-2018/