Hospital invests £7m in new beds and nurses

A HEALTH trust that runs three hospitals in the region is set to invest £7m in additional beds and nursing staff to cope with a “noticeable rise” in the number of emergency patients needing space on wards, it was announced yesterday.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has pledged to increase capacity at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital in Mexborough by 80 beds between now and the autumn. Additional nurses will also be recruited across all three hospitals.

The chief executive of the trust, Mike Pinkerton, said: “There has been a noticeable rise in the number of seriously unwell patients who need hospital care.

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“The majority are frail older people, often with long term conditions like heart or lung disease.

“This has had knock-on consequences nationally, with bed capacity close to 100 per cent in many hospitals.

“Doncaster and Bassetlaw is no exception and we’re determined to take action, so we’re putting our money where our mouth is and investing £7m in creating additional bed capacity with extra nursing staff.”

The move will see 51 extra beds created on existing wards at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw – for example, by keeping open beds that would usually close during the quieter summer months and by converting space that is currently used as offices into single patient rooms.

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A further 19 beds will be created at Doncaster Royal Infirmary by converting the trust’s headquarters into a new ward. The 10 remaining new beds were already due to open at Montagu Hospital as part of the new rehabilitation centre being developed there.

Recruitment of additional nurses began in March and will continue “on a rolling basis”, a spokesman said yesterday.