Menu

Lismore Base Hospital Christmas bed closure fears

Staff are worried that proposed bed closures will make the Christmas period difficult.

Management at the Lismore Base Hospital are hoping to save money by closing up to 58 beds during the busy Christmas period.

A leaked document from a meeting held in October, obtained by Echonetdaily, outlines the proposed closures.

If they go ahead, thirty beds in the C7 Acute Aged Care/General Medical ward would close from tomorrow, Friday 22 December, until 22 January, 2018.

A further 28 beds would close in the medical/surgical short stay ward from tomorrow until 2 January, 2018.

Also, there would be a push to send staff with excess annual leave on holiday during the period.

According to sources, the bed closures would remove about 40 per cent of the usable general adult beds at the hospital.

Medical staff who spoke with Echonetdaily said they wanted it known that the management was proposing the bed closures despite concerns they would leave the hospital unable to adequately deal with the Christmas period.

Also, the closure of beds in the C7 ward would remove up to eight monitored beds, which are used for heart attack and stroke patients, from the mix.

Staff are also wondering why beds are being closed at the Lismore Base Hospital but not at the Tweed District Hospital.

Echonetdaily has contacted the media unit of the Northern NSW Local Health District for comment on the proposed closures.

Hospital response

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones denied the bed closures would impact on services.

‘All hospitals throughout Northern NSW Local Health District, including Lismore Base Hospital, will remain open for emergency presentations and surgery during the Christmas and New Year period,’ he said.

‘Lismore Base Hospital’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours, seven days a week throughout the year, including all public holidays.

‘Christmas is a time when staff and the community like to be able to spend time with their family and friends where possible. Therefore, some reduction in nonessential activity has been planned over this period as part of routine holiday management.

‘NNSWLHD has undertaken considerable planning for the summer period, including Christmas and New Year. This includes using predictive data based on hospital figures, and reviewing 2016 Christmas activity.

‘As a result of our planning and analysis, Lismore Base Hospital will have even greater capacity over this year’s Christmas period compared to the same period last year.

‘Furthermore, additional nursing staff have been rostered to the relieving pool so beds can be opened during this period, if required.

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Vast Ballina and Falls Festival