The Bailey Unit at Midhurst Community Hospital closed to new admissions
26 June 2018

Community hospital ward closed to new admissions due to staff shortage 

An NHS Foundation Trust in Sussex has closed a community inpatient ward to new admissions because of a shortage of clinical staff.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) announced today that the 17-bed Bailey Unit at Midhurst Community Hospital in West Sussex would close to new admissions indefinitely.

The Trust, which provides NHS community services in hospitals, clinics and people’s homes across Sussex, said long-standing staff shortages and emerging concerns about the quality of care it is able to provide were behind its decision.

Dr Richard Quirk, Medical Director at SCFT, said: “The safety of our patients and the quality of the services they rely on are absolutely paramount.

“Despite concerted effort for at least five years, a temporary closure 18 months ago and an intensive recruitment campaign, it has not been possible to ensure the ward is properly staffed.”

The Trust, which is supported in its decision by the local clinical commissioner, NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, said it would ensure that local people continue to have access to the care they need.

Dr Quirk added: “We will be exploring other options to provide this support to patients in other ways.

“We will continue to provide community nursing support, specialist nursing in people's homes and talking therapies to people in the Midhurst area.

“All of our other inpatient units remain open and accessible to people across West Sussex.”

The Trust said that it would continue to look after the patients currently at the unit until they were well enough to be discharged.