Concern over number of beds at cardiac unit

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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CONCERNS have been raised over the provision of beds in the cardiac unit at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester.

A number of changes have taken place over the past month regarding the number of beds.

Nine acute cardiac beds had been shut.

There are concerns that this has happened without any notice to staff and without any consultation of cardiologists or other people involved.

And the coronary care unit has been moved to another ward with nine fewer beds.

One insider, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘If you are a cardiac patient who needs to be admitted to hospital and yet there are not enough beds in the cardiac ward, chances are you will be admitted to another non-cardiac ward where staff are not as experienced as they are in the cardiac ward.’

But Western Sussex Hospitals Trust, which is in charge of running the hospital, said the changes were as a result of seasonal fluctuations in demand for services.

Director of clinical services for the medicine division, Sally Smith, said: ‘During the summer and autumn months there tends to be less demand.

‘We have seen that reduction in demand recently and so we decided to temporarily reduce our capacity. That ensures our staff and resources can focus on the areas where they can do the most good for patients.

‘When demand rises again later in the year, as it undoubtedly will, the beds will be reopened to ensure patient needs are met.’