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Right Arrow Trust confirms ward closure
21 April 2011 at 16:01
Shorter stays in hospital for patients and planning more care closer to home have helped an NHS trust close a ward and achieve much-needed savings. It is also being done without affecting patient care.

Ward 7b at Southport and Formby District General Hospital will close before the end of May, saving Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust nearly £1m.

All the affected ward staff will be redeployed. Doctors will be retained too, giving them more time with remaining patients.

The Trust must save £8½m, or 5% of its budget, in 2011/12 through a combination of annual savings the Government says all NHS trusts must make; a reduction in payments for treating each patient; and other changes to the way the NHS is financed.

“This is a huge challenge but in the past 12 months we have reduced the time each patient spends in hospital by nearly a day,” said Chief Executive Jonathan Parry.

“Since the beginning of April, we have also been responsible for providing community health care services across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire.

“We will be investing in those services to ensure people can be better treated at home, in the community or as outpatients rather than being admitted to hospital, further reducing the need for hospital beds.”

The closure of ward 7b, one of two cardiology wards at the hospital, was announced to staff on Tuesday (April 19).

The closure is the first stage of a strategy to close three medical wards over three years which Chief Executive Jonathan Parry revealed at a series of staff presentations and public meetings earlier this year.

Liz Yates, Director of Nursing, said: “We have been very open about the imminent closure of a ward but it is understandably upsetting to those staff directly affected.

“All staff concerned will be redeployed within the Trust and we are offering all the support we can to them while at the same continuing to ensure our usual high standard of care is maintained.”

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494