Louth hospital ward re-opens - but not at full capacity

Louth County Hospital.
Louth County Hospital.

Louth hospital’s Manby Ward will not be operating at full capacity after re-opening this week, it has been confirmed.

The issue was raised by Dave Larder in the ‘Fighting 4 Louth Hospital’ campaign group.

Last week, Mr Larder said: “More bad news. I’ve received confirmation from the CCG today that Manby Ward will only have six chairs (no beds) when it opens on April 1. The reason given is that sufficient staff are not in place.

“I’ve gone back to them and asked: Why? We were told at the CCG Board meeting in Louth in January that the unit was ready, so why have sufficient staff not been recruited? These are questions that our MP, Louth Town Council and ELDC’s Health Scrutiny should be asking!”

When approached by the Leader, Susan Ombler, director of nursing, allied health professionals and operations for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, responded: “We have completed our recruitment process to ensure we have the right staff, with the right skills and experience to deliver assessment, rehabilitation, admission avoidance and palliative care beds and an innovative Frailty Assessment Unit.

“However, we are waiting for a number of new staff members to complete their notice period before they can join us from their former employers.

“Carlton Ward is currently running at its full capacity of 16 beds with a full complement of staff. Manby Ward will initially open with six places for day care assessment.

“Of the eight frailty assessment beds planned for the unit, four will be open from April 1, but these will be located on Carlton Ward until final staffing levels are complete.

“The four remaining frailty assessment beds will be implemented as staff become available, with full implementation of the Frailty Assessment Unit completed by June 1, 2019 at the latest.”