Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Forensic ward remains closed at Yorkshire trust due to mental health nurse shortage

  • Comment

An ongoing shortage of mental health nurses at an NHS trust in York has delayed the re-opening of one of its wards, which has been closed since the end of last year.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had planned to end the temporary closure of its 13-bed low secure forensic ward for men in April.

“The aim to re-open in April was always based on us having sufficient numbers of registered nurses in place”

Sara Munro

Westerdale Ward, one of four inpatient wards at Clifton House in York, was shut at the start of December due to a significant shortfall of registered nurses.

This was decided following conversations with NHS England about the potential risk to patient safety. At the time, across all low secure wards at the trust, there were 35% – or 15.8 – of registered nurse posts vacant, a trust spokesman told Nursing Times.

All staff from the ward were relocated within the service or to other areas and it was hoped it would reopen in April 2017 following a skill mix review and recruitment campaign, according to trust board papers from February.

However, in a statement provided to Nursing Times today, the organisation’s chief executive said the organisation had failed to attract enough mental health nurses in order to reopen the ward next month.

“We will continue to advertise for qualified registered mental health nurses and for new registered mental health practitioner roles”

Sara Munro

“The aim to re-open in April was always based on us having sufficient numbers of registered nurses in place – something we are continuing to pursue,” said Sara Munro, chief executive of Leeds and York Partnership.

“There is a widely-recognised shortage of qualified mental health nurses across the country and we’ve found it hard to attract people despite our campaign and range of incentives,” she said.

“We will continue to advertise for qualified registered mental health nurses and for new registered mental health practitioner roles, which have proven very popular so far,” said Ms Munro.

She added: “The new mental health practitioner roles have been developed based on a review of the specific needs of the service and its patients. They are an exciting new development but are not a replacement for maintaining the appropriate number of registered nurses required to deliver safe and effective care.” 

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs