A nursing staff shortage has led to the closure of a learning disability ward at a Tayside hospital.
Patients were moved from the Craigowl ward, at Strathmartine, to two other areas of the hospital’s learning disability service unit on Wednesday but health bosses have rejected claims of a lack of communication or consultation over what has been branded a “bombshell” decision.
The mixed-sex ward is a behavioural support and intervention unit for adults who display distressed behaviours and a source said there were fears for patients over the impact of the move.
A health source said: “This has come out of the blue and both staff and patients are unhappy about it.
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“It is a different setting and is going to be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the patients.”
A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, which is responsible for the move, said: “Patient safety remains our priority.
“This is an interim operational decision in response to a shortage of learning disability nursing staff.
“We understand that this move may be upsetting for patients, families and carers and we will continue to work with them to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible, with minimal disruption to patients.”