Oxford

Nursing staff shortage forces hospital ward closure

Fulbrook Centre in Oxford Image copyright Google
Image caption Community bed provision, including at City Community Hospital, will be reviewed in September

A community hospital in Oxford is to temporarily close because it does not have enough nurses.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said its 12-bed City Community Hospital at the Fulbrook Centre would close at the end of the month.

It said the move was for "patient safety" because there was insufficient registered nursing staff to ensure safe staffing of the unit.

Safety guidelines require two registered nurses to be on shift.

The trust said, despite "strenuous efforts" to recruit through fairs, open days and online campaigns, about half the registered nursing posts in City Community Hospital had been vacant since 2016 and two thirds of posts were due to be vacant by the end of May.

Remaining staff will be redeployed.

The trust said the overall number of hospital beds across all its sites would be maintained at an average of 138.

The provision, including that at City Community Hospital, would be reviewed in September, it added.

Two 23-bed older adult mental health wards at the Fulbrook Centre, which is on the Churchill Hospital site in Headington, will continue to operate.

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