Penrith treatment centre closed for three nights in a row

Date: Thursday 9th January 2020

STAFF shortages have been blamed for the urgent treatment centre at Penrith hospital being closed overnight on several occasions.

Walk-in access has been suspended for three nights this week — tonight, tomorrow and Saturday — from 9pm until 8am as the health service struggles to have the minimum of two nurses at the centre.

The centre has already been closed on 10 occasions overnight in the last two months for "operational reasons".

Dr Craig Melrose, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust's associate medical director, said: "Unfortunately we have had to have some intermittent closures over the early part of this year.

"That is in the main due to short staffing and despite the fantastic effort by staff we have who have covered the gaps. But we can't open for safety reasons if we have lower than the minimum number of nurses.

"We have had to prioritise our service provision to the day time when we are at our busiest and the majority of people want to access the service."

Members of the public are being advised to instead call 111 for urgent health advice and to be told which service they need to be seen by rather than just turning up at a hospital.

Full story in Saturday's paper