NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has today (Wednesday 16th December) confirmed that Ward 6 at the Vale of Leven Hospital is to close in March 2016 in response to falling numbers of surgical patients requiring an overnight stay.
Occupancy levels in the surgical inpatient ward are exceptionally low, falling as low as six per cent in August last year. On average the ward runs at 10 per cent occupancy and is often empty or with only one patient staying overnight.
The drop in numbers of patients requiring an overnight stay follows a redesign of the service with the vast majority of patients now being treated as a day case in line with modern surgical practice.
The closure of the 10-bedded ward will have no impact on those services currently provided locally.
Patients who have their surgery carried out locally will continue to do so.
The majority of these patients will be treated in the surgical day bed unit, which will extend its opening hours, and any patient who requires an overnight stay will be accommodated in another ward at the hospital.
At a meeting with management team and staff held today, Jacki Smart, General Manager of Clyde sector committed to retain the skills and experience of the nursing staff displaced by the closure.
She said: “We have met staff today to discuss the changes. A number of staff will be transferred to the surgical day bed unit within the Vale of Leven Hospital and we will work with the remaining staff and their representatives to redeploy them into suitable alternative positions.
“In doing so we consider their skills, knowledge and experience together with their personal circumstances and preferences wherever possible.
“Our aim is for those staff that choose to work locally to be able to remain working locally.”
The £400,000 savings generated from the closure will be re-invested within NHS services in the Clyde area.
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Note to editors
There are currently 10.49 WTE (whole time equivalent) and 5.04 WTE untrained staff within Ward 6.
Management met with trades’ unions last week and they offered their support to the redesign of services.
Ward 6 is a 10 bedded surgical ward with four trolleys. It currently accommodates patients who require a pre or post operative stay and also day cases who are not admitted to the surgical day bed unit.
Inpatient stays are primarily for social admissions, such as patients requiring admission the day before their surgery due to travel requirements and those who stay in hospital because of a lack of home support.