Nurses hit out at ward plans for West Sussex hospital

John Knighton, medical director of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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NURSES at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester have hit out at plans to merge two wards and said elderly patients will be the ones to suffer.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust has proposed to merge the Lavant and Boxgrove wards, which have 27 beds each.

Lavant Ward deals with acute medicine and elderly care while the Boxgrove Ward deals with acute medicine and gastroenterology patients. The plans also involve moving the stroke unit on the Petworth Ward to the empty ward created by the merger, which would mean a reduction of 20 beds overall.

A consultation finishes on June 6.

One nurse, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: ‘This short-sighted act would result in far fewer beds for the elderly patients.’

But medical director Dr Phillip Barnes said: ‘Our aim is to always make our services even better, even safer, and even more efficient.

‘Measuring this solely in terms of bed numbers is misleading.’