PLANS to move 20 patients from Montfield to the Gilbert Bain Hospital have been amended to take account of new infection control guidelines.
The guidelines say that space between beds has to be increased in order to minimise hospital acquired infections.
This means that fewer beds can now be accommodated in the refurbished Ward 2 of Gilbert Bain.
Originally 18 patients from Montfield’s Ronas Ward were due to come to this ward and two were to go to Ward 3.
However at an extraordinary meeting of Shetland NHS Board this week it was agreed that only 16 patients should now go to the former Ward 2. Two patients will still go to Ward 3 as originally planned and the remaining two will go to the Interim Placement Unit (IPU) at Montfield.
Director of public health Sarah Taylor said that the health board was committed to moving the 20 Ronas Ward beds and did not want to compromise on bed spaces.
Dr Taylor said: “We are making sure c-diff and [hospital acquired] infection control is a tight as it can be because of the national picture.”
The move would still take place on time, certainly “before December”, and the patients placed on the IPU ward would be ones waiting for discharge.
The new guidelines come in the wake of the c-difficile outbreak at Vale of Leven Hospital. Nine patients died as a direct cause of the hospital acquired infection and it was a contributory factor in the death of nine others.
Two weeks ago The Shetland Times revealed that there had been nine cases of c-diff in Shetland in 2006-7 and 10 cases in 2007-8, including cases in the community, but there has never been an outbreak. Investigations at Vale of Leven will result in further reforms.