CUTS: ‘Staff shortage’ sees Bassetlaw Children’s Ward close to overnight admissions

Chief Executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, Mike Pinkerton.
Chief Executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, Mike Pinkerton.

Further cutbacks to the children’s ward at Bassetlaw Hospital will see sick youngsters requiring overnight care transferred almost 20 miles away to Doncaster due to “staff shortages”.

The Worksop hospital’s Paediatric Ward, known as A3, will be closing to admissions from 8pm each day from 30 January after attempts to fill a shortage of paediatric medical and nursing staff failed.

The news has sparked concern between Worksop parents, particularly those who have children who require ongoing medical care.

Micheala Bolton said: “My son suffers with sickness cyclone and has to be dripped and monitored if he becomes ill. Doncaster is too far for us .”

Janice Martin said: “A lot of poorly children will have to travel miles for the care they need.”

But despite the fact the overnight service cannot be maintained, Trust bosses say acute paediatric services are being” enhanced” and will still be available from 8am to 10pm each day.

Mike Pinkerton, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said: “It would be unsafe to admit children when we do not have sufficient doctors or nurses to look after them.

“Although we have no choice but to end overnight stays for sick children at the hospital, the Trust plans to maintain paediatric services at Bassetlaw- as exemplified by our recent investment of £278,000 to provide purpose-built children’s outpatient facilities.

“Many of these changes will in fact enhance the care we offer to our patients.”

Idris Griffiths, chief officer of Bassetlaw CCG, said: “Caring for children requires specialist skills and, due to significant staffing shortages, the hospital has had to introduce changes to services.

“However, our GP-led Governing Body welcomes the enhanced consultant led day-time service, and the expected reduction in the need for overnight admissions which can be stressful for families.

“To improve the current daytime service, the hospital is maximising opening times and providing special urgent outpatient clinics with senior paediatricians.

“These changes also ensure that paediatric medical support to the Emergency Department can be maintained so children can still attend the A&E at Bassetlaw Hospital.

“Children will only be transferred to Doncaster if they need to stay overnight.”