A&E to close at night14th November 2011
A proposal for a temporary shut down of Stafford Hospital's Accident & Emergency department at night has been approved.
Bosses met on 10 November to talk about what will happen to the A&E department at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
They approved the closure of the A&E department for three months during the hours between 10pm and 8am, to commence on 1 December.
The trust said it had estimated 27 patients per night would need to go to other hospitals in Walsall, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton and Burton.
The trust's Chief Executive, Lynn Hill-Tout, said there were not enough A&E consultants at a national level and bad publicity about the hospital had damaged a drive to recruit more staff.
She said: "Our Emergency Department is safe. However because of the number of doctor vacancies we need to close it temporarily at night, which will allow resources to be focused on daytime activity, thus increasing quality of care and this will also allow a period for intense staff development."
"Our overriding concern is to keep patients safe. I am very aware of the concerns of local people and I can assure them that there is no intention for this to be a permanent closure."
In October the A&E department at the hospital was given a formal warning after a surprise inspection found a scarcity of nursing staff available.
The hospital has been subjected to a 11 month public inquiry over the high number of deaths that occurred there from 2005 to 2008.
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Title: A&E to close at night
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 20329
Date Added: 14th Nov 2011