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Staff shortages force rural hospital ward to close

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Surgical nurses at a Scottish hospital were forced to move when a ward was partially closed by staff shortages.

The surgical ward at the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway was closed to inpatients for a short period in July.

Day surgery patients were admitted as normal.

A hospital spokesman said the partial closure was due to ‘a high level of staff sickness’ and annual leave.

In May, the Scottish Hospital Board responsible for the area and two other hospitals, received a £3.1m loan to repay a deficit accumulated during several years.

NHS Western Isles received the loan after breaking even for two years.

Western Isles Hospital is a rural general hospital with two surgical wards and 157 beds, employing 305 nurses.

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