Children's ward set for closure due to lack of staff

A CHILDREN'S ward will be closed this weekend due to a staff shortage.

Friday, 1st December 2017, 4:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:48 am
St John's Hospital, Livingston , Pic Lisa Ferguson

NHS Lothian will close the children’s short stay assessment unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston on Sunday.

Parents are not being advised to do anything differently and should take normal steps by calling NHS 24 on 111.

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Children will still be assessed and treated in the emergency department and a paediatric consultant will be available on call 24/7.

The decision to change the opening hours has been made as a result of ongoing staffing and recruitment issues which means there are not enough doctors available to cover overnight and weekends.

Jacquie Campbell, chief officer of acute services, NHS Lothian said: “The safety of our patients must be our top priority and for that reason the unit will not open on Sunday.

“Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to reliably secure the levels of staffing required on Sunday to guarantee a safe service. This is the safest option for the children of West Lothian and normal service will resume on Monday.”

If a sick child needs to be admitted to hospital, a transfer to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children cna be arranged.

Maternity and neonatal services at the hospital are unaffected and normal service will resume on Monday.