Cornwall

Poltair Hospital admissions halted by staff shortages

Poltair Hospital
Image caption Poltair has 10 in-patient beds and outpatient clinics

Serious staff shortages have forced a Cornish hospital to suspend new admissions for the second time in less than three months.

Poltair Hospital, near Penzance, has 10 in-patient beds and provides outpatient clinics.

Peninsula Community Health took over the running of Cornwall's 14 community hospitals on 1 October.

A spokeswoman said "unfounded" rumours that Poltair was to close had made recruitment more difficult.

Sue Shillabeer said staff sickness and planned annual leave had exacerbated the situation.

"It's really a combination of things hitting us all at once," she said.

Peninsula is trying to recruit the equivalent of 3.6 full-time posts, with qualified staff being deployed at Poltair and other community hospitals in the area.

Ms Shillabeer said, although it was impossible to say exactly how long new admissions would be suspended for, senior management was working hard to resume a normal service "as soon as possible".

Block booking agency staff was being considered, although Peninsula said past experience showed that was not sustainable because of the need to maintain continuity of care.

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