A shake-up is on the cards at Malton Hospital.
Health chiefs confirmed yesterday that they intend to close Ryedale Ward and merge it with Fitzwilliam Ward in the coming months - a move that will result in the loss of two beds.
A spokesman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said it does not “envisage the need for redundancies.”
The news comes as the NHS carries out a review of urgent care services in Ryedale and Scarborough.
Malton, Norton & District Hospital currently has two 15-bed wards - Ryedale and Fitzwilliam.
“These are at opposite ends of the hospital and have no direct link,” explained the spokesman. “This arrangement creates financial inefficiencies which can be largely resolved through the creation of a single ward.
“The Trust is undertaking building work on Fitzwilliam Ward to enable its bed base to be increased to 28 beds. Once this is complete, Ryedale Ward will be vacant.
“The Hospital will continue to provide inpatient services at Malton Hospital within a single ward, and the Trust is confident that the same level of inpatient activity can be achieved with two fewer beds due to improved hospital processes.
“The small number of affected staff are being consulted on this change. We do not envisage the need for redundancies as there are existing vacancies, and we will need to recruit to some additional posts. We anticipate that further job opportunities will result from these new developments.”
The spokesman added: “York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is committed to the long term future of Malton Hospital, and is in discussion with Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as to how the available space might best be used to host other services and develop new models of care. This supports our aim of keeping patients out of hospital and providing care closer to home.
“As a first step, a day hospice service is being established on Ryedale Ward, run by St Catherine’s Hospice, from April. Additional day care facilities are being discussed with Scarborough and Ryedale CCG with the express aim of supporting elderly patients with long term conditions.”
It is the latest twist in the history of Ryedale Ward which was closed for six months in 2010 by the now defunct York and North Yorkshire Primary Care Trust as part of a money saving pilot-project which saw sick patients supported at home by community nursing teams - despite the ward having only recently undergone an expensive refurbishment.
Meanwhile, the CCG is continuing with its 12 week consultation exercise which is seeking the views of the public on proposed changes to urgent care in Scarborough and Ryedale. As part of the review are the Castle Health walk-in centre at Scarborough, Malton Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit and the A&E department at Scarborough Hospital.
An open evening to look at the proposals is planned at Ryedale House, Malton, on Wednesday, February 26, at 7pm.