Savernake Hospital in Marlborough to shut half its beds

A community hospital in Wiltshire is closing half its beds because of problems recruiting staff.

Savernake Hospital in Marlborough will close 12 beds for three months.

Roger Davey of Unison said: "This situation could develop elsewhere. We should not see services being cut because there are not enough nurses."

An NHS Wiltshire spokeswoman said despite five recruitment campaigns in the last month, it had not been able to find staff to work there.

'Real crisis'

She said: "This means that we have had to rely on a high number of agency nurses which means that continuity of patient care can be difficult, and the permanent nurses and health care assistants are under more pressure.

"An intensive recruitment campaign will [also] be undertaken during the three months," she said.

But Mr Davey said Unison was concerned about the future of other wards in Chippenham and Warminster where he said there was also a shortage of staff.

He said: "It is a real crisis facing the people of Wiltshire in terms of inpatient services."

During the closure the trust says staff will be offered career training.

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