Children’s Hospital cutting services as it deals with staff shortage, rise in patients

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Children’s Hospital Colorado will be temporarily suspending some services at multiple locations around the metro area as it deals with staffing shortages and an uptick in patients.

According to a spokesperson for the hospital system, Children’s Hospital Colorado will temporarily suspend after-hours virtual urgent care services and will temporarily close its location at Parker Adventist Hospital, including both emergency and outpatient services.

Urgent care services at the Wheat Ridge and Uptown locations will remain closed temporarily as well.

“Children’s hospitals across the country are facing mounting challenges — an early start to respiratory season, the pediatric mental health crisis, the transmissibility of the delta variant, and the heightened demands placed on the health care workforce as more people choose to leave the industry than ever before,” spokesperson Jaime Berg Cady said in a statement.

Children’s Hospital says, due to the increased demand for services, it needs more staff than normal.

However, hospitals across the metro area, including Children’s, are seeing an unprecedented staff shortage. According to the Colorado Hospital Association, many health care professionals are choosing to leave after a difficult year-and-a-half during the pandemic.

“We’ve certainly been watching staffing throughout the pandemic, but at no time previously can I remember it being quite as acute as it is right now,” CHA spokesperson Cara Welch told FOX31.

The consolidation of services at Children’s Hospital Colorado has some worried about the impact it will have on Coloradans seeking care.

“Hospital closures like these speak to complex challenges in our health care system. Hospital closures also have the potential to disrupt the continuity of care and widen inequities in access to care – especially for our rural communities, which can impact access to COVID-19 testing and treatment for our youngest Coloradans,” Colorado Children’s Campaign spokesperson Beza Taddess said.

CHA says those fears are unfounded and that top-quality care remains a priority for hospitals even when they are experiencing staffing shortages.

“Care might look a little bit different, but the commitment to care is absolutely still at the forefront of our minds every hour of every day,” Welch said.

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