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Northern Devon Healthcare Trust

Lack of safety guarantee shuts community hospital


A community hospital has been partially closed because nurses dealt with insufficient patients to guarantee their clinical competency was maintained.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust announced the temporary closure of the nine-bed Moretonhampstead Community Hospital on 22 January, following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

The facility suspended services for inpatients on 31 January but will continue to operate outpatients clinics and a minor injuries unit. The trust said it would review the closure after three months.

Eight nurses and seven support staff were employed at the hospital, which often had bed occupancy of less than 75%.

John Coop, the trust’s associate medical director, said: “Patient safety and the quality of the care we provide is paramount. We face significant challenges providing a safe inpatient service in such a rurally isolated and small hospital.

“Giving staff access to sufficient numbers of patients to maintain their core clinical competencies is not possible in Moretonhampstead.”



Readers' comments (3)

  • now we have too many staff - OMG whatever next, what a farce. why didn't the managers rotate the staff to a busier hospital and ensure that they were up-to-date with competencies.

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  • These NHS "managers" regardless of their background/profession become more detached from reality as time goes by.

    Do these "managers" really enjoy putting patients at risk ? More likely they are simply grossly incompetant and in urgent need of being removed from post.

    Why was it necessary for the CQC to reveal the obvious ?

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  • 8 trained staff for 9 beds - wow, we have 12 for 28 patients. was this a particularly cushy little number that just went un-noticed for years. why haven't these nurses got up-to-date competencies?

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