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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Staff crisis forces unit closure
Nurses in a ward (generic)
A health watchdog says it is difficult to recruit nurses in Powys
A shortage of nursing staff forced the closure of a mental health unit at a hospital in Powys on Friday.

Patients at the five-bed Llangwyn unit at Llandrindod Wells hospital have been transferred to nearby Brecon.

Powys Local Health Board (LHB) said it was closing it temporarily but it is unclear when the unit will reopen.

In July, a lack of nurses forced a minor injuries unit at Newtown hospital to close overnight for 10 weeks.

Powys Local Health Board blamed "nurse staffing difficulties" in the unit.

Llandrindod Wells
The local health board is having great difficulty recruiting
Bryn Williams

"All services will be transferred to Bronllys Hospital (Brecon) from 2 September with the exception of the day care services which will continue at Llangwyn Unit on Wednesday and Thursday," said a spokesman.

Meanwhile, a health watchdog urged Powys LHB to make it "more attractive" for people to work in the county.

Bryn Williams, chief officer of Brecon and Radnorshire Community Health Council, said recruiting nurses was a problem.

"The local health board is having great difficulty recruiting and it's spending thousands of pounds but it is not getting anywhere," he said.

"We have to look at ways of getting over that and it may be that we have to think it terms of bursaries, making accommodation available and making sure work is available for spouses. We have to make it more attractive."

In January, the elderly mentally infirm unit at Ysbyty Bro Ddyfi in Machynlleth was in danger of closing for three months due to similar issues.

However, agency nurses were drafted in to assist existing staff.

Powys ward closure averted
19 Jan 05 |  Mid

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