A successful round of recruitment has seen two nurses enlisted to work at Newton Stewart Hospital – paving the way for a return to normal service.
But with those nurses set to become officially registered in coming weeks, the decision to temporarily cap bed numbers has been extended until the end of August.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway stressed that the move last month to cap the 22-bed hospital at 14 beds had no immediate or subsequent effect on service, as since then there has been an average of 10 patients in the hospital at any one time.
Graham Abrines, Health and Social Care General Manager Community Health and Social Care, said: “We’re delighted that two new nurses are joining the excellent staff at Newton Stewart Hospital.
“Last month’s decision put a priority on the safety of patients and staff, and resulted from clinical advice resulting from a situation with registered nurse vacancies and long-term sickness.
“I’m happy to say that the long-term sickness has now resolved, and after a successful recruitment process we now have two nurses to fill those vacancies.”
Before the new nurses become officially registered, staff who have been working tirelessly to provide the full service possible are scheduled for periods of annual summer leave.
As a result, a recommendation was agreed today by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Senior Management Team to temporarily continue the cap on bed numbers until the end of August.
Mr Abrines said: “This is a temporary measure, and we anticipate that we will be able to accommodate requests for beds at the hospital during the summer period within the capped bed limit.”