Men’s psychiatric ward will not re-open after failure to recruit nurses

A PSYCHIATRIC ward in York is to remain closed after a recruitment campaign failed to attract enough staff to help it re-open.

The closure of the 13-bed Westderdale Ward for men at Clifton House, off Shipton Road, Rawcliffe, was confirmed by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) in December last year due to a staff shortage.

The trust, which is the same that ran Bootham Park Hospital until its sudden closure over safety concerns in 2015, embarked on a “national high profile recruitment campaign” in January 2017 to try and attract sufficient numbers of qualified nurses to the low secure forensic mental health service.

The campaign offered relocation packages to encourage people to move from outside the local area, but it has not attracted the numbers needed to re-open the ward, which had been pencilled in to open again in April if the recruitment had been a success.

Lynn Parkinson, interim chief operating officer at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The trust and the commissioners of low secure forensic services, NHS England, remain committed to continuing to provide forensic services in York. We want to deliver these services in a way that best meets the needs of service users and takes account of future demand whilst ensuring they are safe and effective.”

Article from The York Press, 26 June 2017.