Nursing shortages forcing more changes at Clinton, Ont. hospital

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A shortage of nursing staff at Clinton Public Hospital is once again forcing changes to the emergency department.

In a statement released on Tuesday evening by Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA), the organization says it is changing the time the last patient is able to register to 6 p.m., to ensure the department can close daily at 8 p.m.

“While the Emergency Department will continue to operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, due to the amount of time it may take for a patient to be assessed and treated, we will only be registering patients until 6 p.m.,” says Andrew Williams, President & CEO. “We must operate within the reduced hours ensuring the department closes at 8 p.m. in order to reduce regularly occurring after-hours work, improve the quality of life of our staff and support recruitment and retention efforts.”

After 6 p.m., patients seeking emergency services can access one of the other area hospitals providing 24-hour Emergency Department coverage which include:

  • Seaforth: HPHA – Seaforth Community Hospital
  • Goderich: Alexandra Marine & General Hospital
  • Exeter: South Huron Hospital
  • Wingham: LWHA – Wingham & District Hospital. 

Williams warns that when there isn't enough staff to safely provide quality patient care, a closure, such as the one that happened Aug. 1 that forced a full closure of the emergency department, could happen again.