AN adjustment of resources was how a spokesperson for the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital summed up the closing of 12 beds at the facility.
Last week, the South Coast Register received two calls from local residents raising concerns about the closure of 12 beds in Medical Ward B.
One caller also indicated the ICU and Paediatric Wards were being restructured.
The spokesperson wanted to alleviate all fears local residents may have.
“All hospitals experience peaks and troughs in demand for their services,” the spokesperson said.
“At Shoalhaven Hospital, the winter months traditionally see an increase in demand for inpatient beds while the summer/holiday period sees a surge in demand for the Emergency Department.
“Shoalhaven Hospital continually reviews this demand for services to ensure resources are appropriately allocated and seasonal bed adjustments can be made.
“Because of the decrease in demand on beds following the end of the busy winter period, Medical Ward B (12 beds) will not be required until March.
“This will enable increased bed availability in other areas which experience increased demand over the holiday period.
“A similar approach in 2012 enabled necessary maintenance and repair works to be undertaken on the ward and there was no impact on patient access or quality of care provided at Shoalhaven.”
The spokesperson said staff members were kept informed and local residents would not suffer.
“There has been ongoing consultation with staff on Medical Ward B and many are in the process of identifying professional development opportunities through deployment to other wards,” the spokesperson said.
“There is a process in place to constantly monitor access and demand and increase available beds during the summer months if required.”
The spokesperson said there is no restructure occurring within ICU or the Paediatric Ward, nor is there is a reduction in services.
“The hospital is simply realigning staffing levels within the facility to meet demand and which better reflect seasonal need,” the spokesperson said.