Chesley Hospital ER hours being reduced this month

Public meeting Wednesday, September 11th regarding reduced hours at the Chelsey Hospital emergency room. (Kirk Scott photo)

The Chesley hospital is cutting its emergency department hours.

Hospital officials explained the situation at a public meeting Wednesday night. Starting September 21, the emergency room will be closed overnight from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Manager of Patient Care Stephanie Metcalfe said they’ve been short registered nurses for several months and it all came to head in August when two nurses went on extended leave.

“The two that went on leave just sort of tipped the scale that we couldn’t manage it anymore because we had been altering schedules, re-posting, it just became we couldn’t do it anymore,” said Metcalfe.

Hospital CEO Michael Barrett said people in the Chesley area needing emergency care at night should call 911 as they normally would and they’ll be taken by ambulance to the nearest emergency department at other hospitals.

“So there’s always opportunities for someone that requires immediate attention, medical attention, that they can get to another emergency department in fairly short order,” said Barrett.

The cut back in overnight hours at the Chesley hospital is expected to last at least until next February 1. Meanwhile, they are increasing their recruitment campaign for more nurses.