Ward at St Luke’s Hospital in Harborough set to re-open

A call has gone out to nurses in the Harborough area to help re-open a closed ward at the town's St Luke's Hospital in Leicester Road
A call has gone out to nurses in the Harborough area to help re-open a closed ward at the town's St Luke's Hospital in Leicester Road

A call has gone out to nurses in the Harborough area to help re-open a closed ward at the town’s St Luke’s Hospital in Leicester Road.

The 14-bed ward was closed in February this year due to a lack of suitably-trained staff to operate it.

The ward offered short-term non-acute care at the Market Harborough hospital.

It was mainly for older people needing rehabilitation and palliative care treatment.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said the closure would be temporary.

Now the county’s NHS trust is holding a recruitment open day at St Luke’s between 10am and 2.30pm this Saturday.

A spokesman for the NHS trust said: “There are immediate vacancies at St Luke’s.

“The trust had to close a ward temporarily at St Luke’s because of a lack of suitably qualified staff.

“This recruitment open day is one of the measures being taken to get the ward re-opened.”

The spokesman later said that it plans to re-open the ward by the end of May and added: “There are other things we’re looking at too, including asking staff working on different hospitals to move across.”

When the ward was closed, some town patients were directed to a hospital in Hinckley 26 miles away.

A leaked memo at the time explained that nurse numbers at St Luke’s had “fallen below the number we deem necessary to maintain a safe and high standard of care”.

The Royal College of Nursing says there is a national shortage of trained nurses.

Its chief executive, Dr Peter Carter, said a reduction in the number of training places has made the NHS more reliant on nurses from overseas.