A CONSULTATION about the closure inpatient beds at Chard Community Hospital has been launched. 

In October, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SOMPAR) announced that they would be closing inpatient beds at Chard Community Hospital and Shepton Mallet Community Hospital and moving them to other local hospitals for 'safety reasons.'

Residents were angered by the news, with many saying they wanted the hospital's beds to remain open despite SOMPAR saying they closed the beds due to a 'significant shortage of nursing staff.'

But now the trust is looking for residents to share their views on its decision to temporarily close the wards and move staff to other hospitals. 

A spokesman for SOMPAR said residents views will be taken into consideration as part of the trust's formal review at a board meeting in February 2018. 

"The beds were moved from Chard and Shepton Mallet community hospitals as a matter of patient safety because of significant shortages in nursing staff," the spokesman said. 

"Dene Barton Community Hospital beds were moved in September to support the re-opening of specialist stroke beds in Williton.

"The trust has been working hard to recruit more nurses and at the February meeting, the trust board will consider whether Somerset Partnership can re-open the wards – this is the preferred option.

"If there are still not enough nurses in place to safely open all the wards and move staff back, the board will need to consider whether to continue with some or all of the current temporary ward closures or whether to take different actions to ensure we can run our wards safely.

"Public comments will help inform these discussions"

The consultation runs until 22 January 2018.

To download the full consultation document and to find more information see our website at http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/community2017/