Emergency surgery will no longer be offered to patients at Bassetlaw Hospital due to “limited availability” of doctors, the Guardian can reveal.
Bassetlaw patients requiring immediate surgical care at the cash-strapped hospital will now be transferred almost 20 miles away to Doncaster Infirmary as part of the changes, which staff were informed of this week.
It was revealed that the hospital has been struggling to recruit enough doctors to meet patient demand, which has resulted in trust chiefs having to take action and “actively manage” services.
David Purdue, chief operating officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said: “Patient safety is our number one priority and to ensure it is not compromised we are currently actively managing emergency surgical admissions at Bassetlaw Hospital.
“All surgical patients presenting at Bassetlaw Emergency Department will be triaged and assessed by a senior surgical doctor and any patients who requires immediate, surgical, hospital care will be transferred to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, this is typically 10-14 patients in any given week and follows the system we already have in place for patients requiring ENT, vascular or Gastro Intestinal (GI) surgery.”
Last year Bassetlaw and Doncaster hospital trust bosses revealed a £12 million “black hole” in their finances, but patients were reassured that services at both hospitals would “continue as normal.”
“Treatment will continue to be available at Bassetlaw for non-urgent surgical patients and the number of elective surgical operations will increase at Bassetlaw Hospital as a result of the change in the service model,” added Mr Purdue.
“The change has taken place as there is limited availability of doctors for the out-of-hours rota. We have been trying to recruit to the positions for some time, and despite our best efforts those recruitment drives have been unsuccessful.”