St Barnabas Hospital “temporarily” closed its minor injury unit on February 1 for a period of three months, citing low staff numbers in Liskeard as the cause of closure with recruitment efforts being made.
A lot of people in Saltash are sceptical about this however due to other cottage hospitals in Cornwall being closed too!
The inpatient ward at St Barnabas closed for the same reason in 2010 and in November 2014, the MIU temporarily closed for nine months after two long-serving members of staff retired.
A review of staffing at all Cornwall’s community hospitals by Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, which took over responsibility for St Barnabas in April 2016, found Liskeard Hospital and Liskeard MIU have also had challenges recruiting registered nurses.
The source reported that since this meeting three St Barnabas staff have handed their notices in and obtained jobs elsewhere.
“Inevitably more will follow, the result of which is a St Barnabas staffing crisis which will have a knock-on-effect when it comes to re-opening, if that was ever the intention.”
Admissions to St Barnabas have reportedly been dwindling, with an average of 42 people a month using it between August and November of last year. In contrast, Liskeard Hospital 14 miles away saw 1,023 visits on average per month in the same time period.
Outpatient services will continue to be provided at St Barnabas and the cleaning and maintenance of the building will continue as normal.
The impact on bed capacity, patient experience and length of stay will be closely monitored during this time.
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