QE nursery tots and toddlers to close

Posted on Thu, 12/12/2013

The Nursery on the site of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead will be closing on the 31st January 2014.

Sadly the very difficult decision to shut was taken by the Trust Board on the 27th November as it is no longer economically viable to run. The nursery needs to run at 80% occupancy to break even and despite communications campaigns to raise awareness, its occupancy has remained low at 48%.

It has previously been recognised that the provision of childcare services is an integral part of the Trust’s approach to staff recruitment and retention, improving working lives, investors in people and the national health and well-being agenda. However the economic viability of the nursery as well as the building itself have contributed to the difficult decision to close.

Peter Harding, Director Estates and Facilities said: “The existing nursery building is in need of significant refurbishment in order to bring the building up to an acceptable standard. The cost to undertake this has been estimated at circa £500,000. However it would not be considered prudent to incur this level of investment to the existing timber framed building which has already exceeded its design life expectancy. Further investment would also significantly increase the running costs for the building through increased capital charges. Once the building has been removed the existing space will be used for car parking.”

Judith Portlock, Staff Childcare Co-ordinator and Gillian MacArthur, Director of Nursing and Midwifery will be working very closely with staff union reps to ensure that nursery staff are given support to look at other opportunities for employment across the Trust.

Judith will be available to help support parents with children at the nursery, with the transition of changing childcare provider as well as providing details of the kiddivoucher childcare scheme.

Anybody who has any concerns about the loss of the nursery can contact Judith Portlock on 0191 445 2343 or judith.portlock@ghnt.nhs.uk.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

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