FIFTEEN out of 19 beds on Ward 6, Stafford Hospital’s acute surgical ward, are to close. But hospital bosses insist it will be business as usual for patients, who will be treated on other wards instead.
And they say anyone who has an appointment for an operation at Stafford Hospital should turn up as planned.
Bosses say the closure of 15 beds is part of a wider programme of reductions to ensure that nurses and medical staff are not spread too thinly and staffing levels are safe.
The issued a statement today after a spate of internet rumours that operations could be cancelled.
Maggie Oldham, chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A number of surgical beds on Ward 6 are planned to close over the next two weeks to ensure our nurse staffing levels remain safe.
‘All patients who are due to have surgery should attend as planned.
“These beds are included in the 58 bed closures previously announced.”
The hospital is scaling back its total number of beds to reduce its reliance on agency and locum staff, while ensuring that staffing levels continue to meet safety standards.
The reductions include “flex” beds, brought into use over the past few months to cope with unexpected surges in the numbers of patients, which are now being removed.
The four beds remaining on Ward 6 are “level one" acute surgery beds, for patients having major operations, either in an emergency or as elective surgery.
Other patients having less serious surgery will now be treated on other wards.