A mental health service in Lincoln has temporarily closed in a bid to ensure patient and staff safety across other wards in the county.
The Hartsholme Centre on Long Leys Road, a 10-bed psychiatric intensive care for men, was closed by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust after concerns over staffing numbers across the trust.
LPFT will shortly seek views on the temporary closure, working with commissioners, staff and patients to understand the impact this will have.
The impact of the closure could see some men travel outside of Lincolnshire for alternative psychiatric intensive care sites.
LPFT will still be able to provide a hospital service for people with mental health needs, but additional needs will not be able to be met to the adequate standard.
The trust says it was a “difficult” decision to close the ward, but that it is necessary to avoid risking the “safety of our patients and staff”.
Sarah Connery, Chief Executive at LPFT said: “Despite significant work to recruit additional staff and retain and support our current workforce, it has become clear that we no longer have enough staff to safely and effectively run all of our adult mental health wards.
“We are aware that staffing on our wards does not always allow us the opportunity to provide the very best care to aid patients’ recovery and, whilst there has been no harm as a consequence, we do not want to risk the safety of our patients and staff with this continuing.
“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to reduce our current hospital services and temporarily close our smallest ward, the Hartsholme Centre, suspending new admissions with immediate effect.
“During the temporary closure we will redeploy our highly skilled, flexible and experienced staff to support our other mental health wards across the county, so we can continue to deliver high quality, safe care that meets people’s needs.
“This decision has not been taking lightly, however patient and staff safety must remain our priority.”