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Changes to York Hospital's G1 ward lead to concerns
8:29am Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
MEDICAL staff have expressed concern that a specialist ward for female patients at York Hospital is due to be replaced.
The G1 ward – which currently treats gynaecological and breast patients – is due to be replaced by a ward for elderly patients.
Instead, complex gynaecological surgery patients will now go to ward 15, which houses other surgical specialties such as head and neck, and complex breast patients will go to ward 29, which currently caters for orthopaedic surgery.
York Hospital has emphasised there will be no change to quality of treatment or reduction in beds and all patients will continue to be cared for in same-sex accommodation – rooms or bays with patients of the same sex.
However, a member of the York Hospital medical team who asked not to be named said they were concerned that care for women could suffer.
The team member said: “G1 is a safe and caring place that only has women patients, all female nurses, care workers, domestics and catering staff. Patients who come in for operations of a personal nature, be it breast cancer, ovarian cancer, hysterectomies, terminations due to foetal demise, removal of products after previous procedures, will be cared for by nurses who have 20 or 30 years experience in dealing with the sensitive nature of someone who has had to terminate a baby with a defect.
“All the staff feel this will be a poor move from the patient’s point of view.”
They said they believed the women previously treated in the ward would be upset if they knew they or relatives were to be treated on a mixed ward.
A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said it did not have dedicated women-only units but that the nature of the gynaecology and breast specialism meant the ward was currently always female patients.
They said over time it had seen an increase in the number of patients admitted who were elderly or with complex medical conditions.
At the same time, advances in surgical techniques mean shorter stays for many patients, and more day cases.
The hospital said wards needed to be reconfigured as there are sometime more elderly patients than there are beds on dedicated and specialised elderly wards, meaning patients can be admitted to surgical wards where staff can find themselves looking after patients with conditions outside their specialist skills.
The spokeswoman also said they expected an increase in gynaecological and breast patients going through the day unit, as already happens.
“This is all going to be better for patients, as our wards will be better placed to meet their needs during their stay.”
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