A SHORTAGE of nurses means bosses at Bradford Royal Infirmary have decided to temporarily close one of its wards.

Ward 2 of the hospital's children's wards closes tonight and will re-open on Monday after a decision was made to "temporarily reduce" the hospital's bed base on weekends.

Ward 2, one of three children's wards at the hospital, is a 27 bed surgical ward.

Children attend for planned surgery or in the case of an emergency surgical condition which requires treatment.

The trust says the decision has been made to "maintain patient safety" and that work is being done to recruit more skilled nurses for the children's wards.

A spokesperson for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are experiencing nurse staffing shortages within our paediatric service, and in order to maintain patient safety across our three children’s wards, a decision has been taken to temporarily reduce our bed base during the weekends.

“This involves closing the surgical ward, Ward 2.

"No planned elective surgery takes place over the weekend and therefore the ward will close from Friday evenings until Monday mornings.

"This will ensure we can focus our nursing staff to provide appropriate cover for those children requiring acute care.

“Staffing levels remain a priority for the Trust, and we are actively working to recruit nurses with the appropriate skills in order to enhance our children’s services.

"Patient safety remains our highest priority at all times.”