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  1. ITV Report

Meeting to decide future of short-staffed hospital wards

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn in short staffed. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A hospital in Norfolk that is so short staffed its patients are being put at risk will decide today how to deal with the problem.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn was judged as inadequate by inspectors earlier this month.

At a meeting of the Board of Directors later this morning, bosses will consider closing hospital wards and hiring more agency nurses.

The hospital trust currently has more than 130 frontline staff vacancies.

Papers released ahead of the meeting stated: "The ongoing nurse staffing shortage at the Queen Elizabeth King's Lynn has to be considered a factor in the staff’s ability to consistently deliver safe and effective care, as highlighted in the Trust’s CQC Inspection Report of September 2018.

"There is therefore a need to urgently review the current nursing resource and review the options available to ensure patient safety is not compromised either in the immediate, short or longer term."

There four options being considered:

  • No change to ward configuration – continue as is but increase the number of agency nurses.
  • Close a surgical ward (Marham).
  • Close a medical ward (Oxborough)
  • A hybrid arrangement of all of the above.