Health bosses have denied claims that there is an on-going staffing crisis at Girvan Community Hospital.
The Gazette was contacted this week by a source, who did not wish to be named, describing alleged pressures at the community hospital.
The source claimed that last month a nurse had to work a straight 24 hour shift at the hospital and that staff are run off their feet due to a low staffing levels. The source also alleged that the hospital was being forced to take on psychiatric patients from other hospitals, despite not having adequate staff or secure wards.
Tim Eltringham, the Director of South Ayrshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership said: “On Thursday, 20 March, Girvan Community Hospital experienced a rare occurrence when both our local nurse bank and an external agency were unable to provide cover at short notice for a sickness absence.
“Local guidelines were not followed and a decision was taken by a staff member to provide cover for the shift using an ‘on-call’ arrangement at the hospital.
“An option was available for a staff member from one of our acute hospitals to provide cover at Girvan Community Hospital. However, this did not happen and, as a result, we have strengthened both our local procedures for communicating and arranging cover at short notice at Girvan Community Hospital to ensure this situation does not occur again.
“Girvan Community Hospital provides care for a range of people. This includes providing care for people with dementia who have been discharged from an acute hospital but who aren’t well enough yet to go home. Our staff at Girvan Community Hospital are fully trained in caring for people with dementia and indeed we have staff who have completed their ‘Dementia Champion’ training.
“Girvan Community Hospital does not admit patients with mental health problems who require acute mental health hospital care.”