Beds shut at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall due to a ‘shortage of nurses’

Duchess of Gloucester official opening visit to Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall EMN-150909-221357009
Duchess of Gloucester official opening visit to Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall EMN-150909-221357009
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A shortage of nurses has forced Sue Ryder to shut four beds at its Thorpe Hall Hospice.

The £6 million hospice in Longthorpe, which provides care for patients with life-limiting conditions, decided to reduce the number of beds from 20 to 16 at the end of February.

However, Allison Mann, interim hospice director, said the shut beds will begin reopening from next month.

She said: “Unfortunately, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice hasn’t been immune to the well-documented nationwide difficulty of recruiting registered nurses, which has particularly affected our region.

“We currently have a number of vacancies for registered nurses at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

“The short term measures put in place to cover those roles weren’t sustainable in the medium term and our priority, as always, has been to ensure the safety, wellbeing and care of our patients and their families.

“Having considered all options, the decision was made to temporarily reduce the capacity of our hospice inpatient unit from 20 beds to 16.

“Our senior clinical team has been reviewing the situation on a regular basis and are pleased to say we have now recruited into some of the registered nurse vacancies.

“As a result, we are planning to reopen two of the beds at the beginning of May.

“The recruitment process is actively continuing with the hope of reopening the remaining two beds shortly after that.

“Our focus remains on providing the incredible care Sue Ryder is rightly proud of.”

The short term measures included managers, who are also registered nurses, covering shifts, and the use of agency staff.

The shortage of nurses has also affected the hospice’s respite service, which gives people with life-limiting conditions the option to book a stay.

This can be to give carers a break.

The service has currently been put on hold and “will be reviewed at the appropriate time,” according to Mrs Mann.

The revamped hospice in Thorpe Road was opened in September 2015 after a fundraising campaign.