STRUCTURE: Queen Victoria Hospital FT plans to divest itself of a loss making inpatient community ward in April 2012-13.

The target is set out in its forward plan strategy for the next three years, which was submitted to Monitor in April. 

QVH currently provides inpatient community care and rehabilitation on its Jubilee Ward, but the service runs at a loss in excess of £500,000 each year.

Demand has reduced in recent years and, although capable of accommodating a maximum of 28 beds, the unit is currently staffed to take 15 patients and occupancy is generally 12 or less, the trust says.

The three year plan states that the FT intends to divest itself of the Jubilee Ward in month one of 2012-13, and that it will be giving support to commissioners this year in “finalising alternative proposals”.

It described the ward a “significantly loss making service, and not core to reconstruction”. It noted that because of “variable patient numbers it is difficult to retain staff and ensuring quality of care is essential to a group of vulnerable patients”.

It was announced in July that NHS West Sussex would be seeking to introduce a new service to replace Jubilee Ward by the end of this year, though at that time details were still being developed.