Additional James Paget University Hospital ward closes amid nursing staff problems

PUBLISHED: 08:39 30 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:39 30 September 2017

James Paget Hospital. Photo: Sonya Duncan

James Paget Hospital. Photo: Sonya Duncan


An additional ward at the James Paget University Hospital has had to be permanently closed due to staffing constraints.

Ward 22 had been set up in the hospital to provide orthopaedic elective surgery and up until recently it had been run by a mixture of substantive, temporary and redeployed nursing staff.

However, due to the Gorleston hospital having insufficient staff to efficiently run it, the decision has been made to permanently close the ward.

This was one of a number of issues brought up at the hospital’s latest board meeting, which was held on Friday, September 29.

News of the closure came in a report on nurse staffing levels delivered to the board by Julia Hunt, director of nursing at the hospital.

The report did, however, also include the positive development of 27 local graduate nurses joining the Trust, though five on placement at the hospital elected to continue their careers elsewhere in the health service.

Directors also heard on August 18 a ‘never event’ was recorded in the hospital, in which a surgical tampon was erroneously retained following a procedure. This was, however, just the second ‘never event’ of 2017/18, and only the third recorded since September 2016.

There were also four incidents in which patients suffered fractures in the hospital, either as a result of falls or moving around the establishment.

At the meeting, board members also demonstrated that the hospital is putting the busy winter period firmly at the forefront of their thoughts.

A first draft of the hospital’s seasonal resilience plan was presented, setting how ways in which the hospital intends to cope with added winter pressures.

The plan was put together in collaboration with a number of Trust partners, including the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Among the measures being put in place, from October 1 primary care streaming will be carried out so emergency departments are able to prioritise the most urgent patients.

A performance management report presented also showed an overall positive outlook for the hospital, with it only failing to achieve eight of its 67 key targets,

The board next meets at 9.30am on Friday, October 20.

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