January 15, 2018

Clinton hospital to close endoscopy unit

Courtesy of HealthAlliance Hospital
Deborah Weymouth, president and CEO of HealthAlliance Hospital, said a staffing issue has necessitated a closure of the endoscopy unit at UMass' Clinton Hospital.

The endoscopy unit at UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital will close later this month.

Closure of the unit is due to a staffing issue, according to Deborah Weymouth, the HealthAlliance president and CEO.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association argued in a statement Monday the planned closure is in violation of state Department of Public Health regulations. The association sent a notice to the state urging officials to intervene to make sure the hospital follows the law.

Under state law, the association said, a hospital must notify the Department of Public Health so it can determine if services that are proposed for elimination are essential to the community and that a plan is in place for patients to find care elsewhere.

Closure of gastrointestinal services at Clinton Hospital will result in the layoff of six registered nurses, a licensed practical nurse and other support staff, the Massachusetts Nurses Association said.

Those nurses have been informed of similar job openings in Leominster and Worcester, according to UMass.

"UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital determined this change was necessary due to changes in physician staffing, and the space will continue to be used for other services. We are confident we have complied with all DPH requirements as well as other applicable laws and regulations," UMass said in a statement.

"We strive to align our programs and resources carefully. Our number one goal is meeting the health needs of our community in a sustainable manner now and into the future."

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