The future of a rural hospital ward for the elderly is hanging in the balance after no one could be found to work in it.
Maple Ward at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital closed last May amid chronic staff shortages.
The six patients on the ward at the time were moved to other care facilities.
At the time, Locala, the health organisation that runs the hospital, said the closure was temporary.
But almost five months on it is still closed after not one person applied for the nursing roles advertised to enable re-opening.
The closure in May came after new admissions were suspended in November 2016 following an inspection by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC report highlighted serious concerns with investigating incidents and record keeping.
Locala has said the closure in May was not linked to the CQC report and was solely down to staff shortages.
A spokesperson for Locala said: “Attempts to recruit nursing staff for Maple Ward started in December last year and have continued since the ward closed temporarily in May this year.
“The latest round of recruitment has just concluded, again with no applicants.
“To date a number of approaches have been tried to attract candidates, including changes to the way the job roles are structured to potentially make them more appealing.”
The Examiner asked Locala if the struggle to get staff meant Maple Ward may close permanently.
The spokesperson added: “The situation is being continually monitored, and currently Locala is reviewing intermediate care across all its sites to develop the best approach in the future.
“This includes getting input from previous and current patients.
“Until this has been done no decisions will be made about the future of Maple Ward.
“Since the closure of Maple Ward extra beds have been placed in Oakmoor and Westmoor Care Homes, complete with extra nursing and therapy provision, to ensure that all patients are still getting same level of care.
“If there is anyone interested in knowing more about the available roles they can contact Gill Clarke, Intermediate Care Matron at Locala, at Gillian.email@example.com.”
Other services which run at the hospital, which includes podiatry and neurology and dental services, are unaffected.