(WJW) – Some services will no longer be offered at University Hospitals Bedford and Richmond medical centers.

The hospital system said the change is due to staffing issues and a national shortage of healthcare workers.

According to a press release, “UH has more unfilled positions than at any time in its history, and available health care workers remain scarce.”

The hospital system said many caregivers from the Bedford and Richmond locations have already transitioned to support other UH hospitals with more patients.

“Although the decision to consolidate was difficult, it was necessary,” said Paul Hinchey, MD, MBA, UH Interim Chief Operating Officer and President, UH Community Delivery Network. “Our hospitals in Bedford and Richmond Heights are among the smallest and least utilized within UH. Consolidating services to nearby locations enables us to staff more efficiently during this critical time.”

Changes in service location

Services that will be discontinued at the two locations include inpatient, surgical and emergency.

The services will be consolidated and moved to facilities at UH Ahuja, Geauga, Lake West, TriPoint, Beachwood, Geneva and Conneaut medical centers.

Changes in service location include:

  • Emergency Department services will shift to nearby facilities at UH Ahuja (6.2 miles) and UH Lake West (6.1 miles)
  • Inpatient services will be available at UH Ahuja, UH Lake West, UH TriPoint and UH Geauga medical centers.
  • Local physician services provided at the Bedford and Richmond campuses will continue.
  • The Behavioral Health unit at UH Richmond will also continue to operate.

The changes will take effect on August 12, 2022.

Future plans for Bedford and Richmond Centers

As for the future of the Bedford and Richmond Medical Centers, the hospital system said they will continue to invest in new wellness programs and services based on community needs.

New services will include programs for wellness and safety, maternal and child health, food security, and workforce development.

In addition, UH plans to work with the mayors of both communities to determine the best uses for these sites in the future.

Staffing

The hospital system said caregivers at the Bedford and Richmond locations will have the option to transfer to other locations within the UH system.

“Our patients and our health system need our caregivers. We hope that they will choose to continue their careers with UH,” said Hinchey. “We will continue our efforts to attract talent to our organization by striving to be Northeast Ohio’s first and most trusted career choice in health care.”

The shift in services impacts about 600 jobs, but hospital leadership says there will not be layoffs.

COVID-19 Pandemic

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital system reassigned staff. Since then, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has declined but, UH said they continue to be impacted by the national shortage of health care workers.

Caregivers and the community were addressed by UH leaders in this video.