Wards merged as takeover finalised

NHS logo.
NHS logo.

The two wards at Whitby hospital have been amalgamated within days of the new healthcare provider taking over.

Humber NHS Foundation Trust officially took over running of community and out-of- hours services last Tuesday in a seven-year contract agreed and signed in December after a planned deal with Virgin Healthcare fell through.

Changes are already being implemented - the first major one being the merger of the Abbey ward into the War Memorial ward.

There is now one in-patient ward with 24 beds and a daycase unit that has two beds. Previously both wards had capacity for around 20 beds each.

It is for patients that require a lengthier appointment but don’t need an overnight stay for treatments such as blood transfusions.

Last Friday there was a welcome day with the bosses from the new trust meeting Whitby Hospital staff from nurses to kitchen and cleaning staff.

Speaking to the Whitby Gazette, Helen Cannish, associate care director, said: “We have gone to one ward to make sure we have a better environment, we can achieve safe staff levels and patient care is safe.

“The ward has not been full. We have run at 20 this week so you can’t see the bed base in isolation.”

“We have not just come in and taken over. We have spent a few months meeting with staff, trying to understand what does and does not work.”

The Humber Trust says it is also planning on better integration of the Minor Injuries Unit and out-of-hours GP service, reducing the need for patients to travel outside Whitby and reducing patient length of stay in hospital.

Plans for a redevelopment of the hospital are also still in the pipeline in conjunction with the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG group of local doctors.

Debbie Newton, chief operating and finance officer for HRW CCG said: “There is no doubt that this process has been long and at times challenging for existing staff as well as local residents.

“The CCG is fully committed to Whitby. Not only will we be continuing to improve community services, we are still very much dedicated to remodelling Whitby Hospital.”