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Staff shortages force overnight A&E closure at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy

Published on 19/05/2010
Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, has been forced to temporarily close its accident and emergency department during the night due to a shortage of staff.

The Scottish hospital has shut the ward every night between 8pm and 8am since Monday (May 17th), an arrangement that will last until at least May 24th, but possibly longer.

In the meantime, emergency cases are being diverted to Queen Margaret Hospital, 13 miles away in Dunfermline.

An NHS Fife spokesperson said: "It is possible the contingency plan may also be invoked over further weekends.

"Our primary concern is to ensure clinical services are being provided with safe levels of medical staffing."

The situation is being blamed on the European Working Time Directive, which has, since last August, limited the number of hours junior doctors can work to 48 per week.

This, the hospital claims, has led to "unexpected junior doctor absence and the unavailability of locum cover".

In its most recent annual review in 2009, improving waiting times for accident and emergency patients was one of the key action points NHS Fife was advised to focus on.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
Staff shortages force overnight A&E closure at Victoria Hospital in KirkcaldyVictoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, has been forced to temporarily close its accident and emergency department during the night due to a s    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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