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BAD TO NURSE; NHS CRISIS NEW KIDS' WARD CLOSED; Scotland's PS842m super-hospital forced to take children's beds out of action due to staff shortage.

Byline: VIVIENNE AITKEN v.aitken@dailyrecord.co.uk

SCOTLAND'S top children's hospital has been forced to close a ward due to a staffing crisis - just two years after opening its doors.

Last night, politicians called the closure " a shocking decision".

Ward 1A at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow was shut down earlier this week and will not re-open until July 17.

The hospital is part of the PS842million Queen Elizabeth University campus, which has been beset by problems since it opened in 2015. The closed ward is used for day surgery patients and sleep studies.

A concerned parent said he had been told the ward was shut because of a shortage of nurses.

The dad said: "It is to allow the staff to cover severe shortages in other wards. This has affected patients due to be cared for in Ward 1A, with ops cancelled.

"Also, Ward 1A has a dedicated sleep study unit which is not being used and the sleep study children are being put into other wards - which basically means the results are pretty pointless."

The news comes a week after St John's Hospital in Livingston said their children's ward was closing due to staff shortages.

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have also announced plans to close the children's ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley - although the final decision lies with Health Secretary Shona Robison.

Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar said of the latest closure: "This is unbelievable.

"It is a shocking decision just as we enter into the summer holidays. This is supposed to be Scotland's flagship hospital.

"But because of the SNP's mismanagement of our NHS and poor workforce planning, we've seen a children's ward having to close because of staff shortages.

"We have been saying for months that our NHS workforce are undervalued, underresourced and overworked. "The decision to cut training numbers has left devastating consequences, leaving even more pressure on staff, services cut and now this example of an actual ward closing.

"This follows a pattern of St John's closing its children's ward because of staffing issues and the RAH children's ward under threat of being closed permanently.

"These closures are not down to clinical need but to a failure to properly manage our NHS. It is simply not good enough.

"Shona Robison is clearly out of her depth and we need the Government to wake up to what's happening in our NHS.

"What will it take before they do?"

Kevin Hill, children's services director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said activity at the ward was suspended for the first two weeks of the school holidays "due to significant decrease of planned patient activity".

He added: "It enables us to also meet the higher level of requests for annual leave from our clinical staff."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The board have been clear that the ward, which admits patients for planned or scheduled care, will reopen a week on Monday."

CAPTION(S):

SHOCKED Labour's Anas Sarwar

CUTS Health Secretary Robison

PROBLEMS The QEU's Royal Hospital for Children. Inset, Record stories

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 7, 2017
Words:511
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