Crossmaglen Treatment Room: Trust ‘making every effort’ to secure staff

August 10, 2015

News that the Treatment Room at Crossmaglen Health Centre will be closed from today (Monday) for the entire week has been met with anger and concern, despite the Southern Health and Social Care Trust declaring that it is “making every effort” to cover all nursing shifts in the facility.

A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has previously confirmed that it is continuing to experience difficulties in securing nursing staff for the Treatment Room which, during a recent unexpected closure, forced up to 40 patients to stand outside the Health Centre while waiting to see a nurse.

There have been a number of temporary closures of the facility in recent months as the Trust struggled to secure nursing cover for all shifts and in many of these circumstances, patients have arrived to find the Treatment Room closed and no alternative care.

A Trust spokesperson has insisted the facility will open each week for treatment although on occasions where it is forced to close “signage will be in place to advise patients”.

“There has been a vacant Treatment Room Nurse post at Crossmaglen Health Centre and the Trust is going out to recruit to fill this post,” the spokesperson revealed.

“We have continued to provide the service through nurses from the District Nursing Team and Bank Nursing staff but unfortunately have had challenges in securing cover for all shifts over the summer period, which has led to temporary closures of the Treatment Room.

“If the Treatment Room has to close, signs are put in place to advise patients of this arrangement.  However, we do apologise to any patients who have turned up to find they could not be treated and can assure local people that we are making every effort to cover all shifts.

“Patients with serious or urgent conditions who arrive to find the Treatment Room closed should advise the Health Centre Receptionist.”

The Examiner contacted the Trust but was unable to obtain a response in relation to this week’s protracted closure ahead of going to press.