The Emergency Department (ED) at the Chesley hospital will soon close at night due to a nursing staff shortage.
The South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) Board of Directors has decided that starting September 21st, the Chesley Emergency Department will only operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., meaning it will be closed overnight.
The SBGHC says the reduced hours will continue until at least February 1st, 2020.
After that, officials say the number of nursing staff will be evaluated before the department goes back to 24-hour operation.
A media release from the hospital group explains nursing staffing challenges are not new, but they've escalated over the last week with the unexpected extended leaves of one full-time RN and one full-time RPN.
They say for several months, the Chesley site has had difficulty filling short notice shift vacancies, despite replacing shifts with part time nursing staff, nursing staff from other sites and clinical managers.
Because a number of unfilled shifts remain over the coming months, officials say they simply can't stay open.
They say they explored a few options, including fully closing the Emergency Department, closing it on weekends, closing it nightly, or trying to continue with being open around the clock.
Officials say the decision to close overnight was based on a recommendation from a working group made up of doctors, managers and administrative staff.