SIX hospital beds will be cut from the Savernake Hospital to relieve the pressure on nurses after a shortage of staff.

The hospital, which is unable to provide experienced nurses after recruitment problems, has become more reliant on care homes.

It will be temporarily transferring six beds from the Ailesbury in-patient ward to a home in north Wiltshire.

It has not yet been confirmed which care home this will be or whether it is in Marlborough or the surrounding area but only new admissions who are deemed suitable for a care home environment will be situated there.

Marlborough resident Sarah Addison is concerned that travelling a further distance to see loved ones could be difficult for many.

She attended Savernake Hospital regularly with her two disabled daughters, but was was transferred to Virgin Care in March, and moved to a new paediatrician at a practice in Tidworth. This meant a 28-mile round trip to see their doctor which she described as a nightmare

She said: “It really is a shame that they have to move the beds. It’s such a great hospital and the staff were always amazing to us there.

“I have had to travel very far with my children and it is a real nightmare. I hope the care home isn’t inaccessible for people who don’t have their own transport, and is near to Marlborough.

“The hospital is widely used by people living in Marlborough and the surrounding villages, so having to travel to see loved ones could cause problems. It takes about an hour on the bus from Marlborough to Swindon.”

A spokesman from Wiltshire Health & Care, which runs the Ailesbury Ward, said: “We’re committed to delivering safe and effective care. In order to maintain this high standard, we have made the decision to reduce the number of beds on the ward for an interim period and relocate these beds to a nursing home where we will continue to deliver clinical leadership.

“The issues of nursing shortages is a well documented national problem, and we are working tirelessly to attract nursing and other health professionals to work with us on Ailesbury Ward. In the meantime we believe this to be the most sensible step and in the best interests of our patients.

“We aim to re-open the beds on the ward in November, and will be working with everyone concerned to ensure Ailesbury continues to thrive and remains an important part of the community.”

A spokesperson for Virgin Care Wiltshire Children’s Community Health Services said: “We run clinics across Wiltshire and while the venue the previous provider used for appointments in Marlborough is no longer available for us to use, families can now use our brand new specialist clinic which we’ve opened in Chippenham, or other clinics across Wiltshire.”