Tufts To Close Pediatric Hospital To Increase Adult Capacity

·2 min read

BOSTON — Tufts Medical Center is closing its Children's Hospital after treating sick children for more than 125 years, with plans to covert its 41 pediatric inpatient beds to adult ICU and medical/surgical beds this year.

This change will prompt collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital to ensure a "seamless continuity of care for Tufts Children's Hospital pediatric patients and for children and their families served by Wellforce providers in other communities," the hospital said in a statement released Thursday.

The Wellforce Health System - the parent company of Tufts, says these plans are to accommodate "much-needed" adult ICU and medical/surgical beds as the number of adult patients in need of specialized medical care has risen drastically - causing the hospital to turn away hundreds of patients a month due to a lack of beds for them.

While the numbers grow in adult units, the pediatric units at Tufts have been reported by the Globe to only be half full.

"The market's changing, the demands are changing, the community needs are changing," said Dr. Michael Tarnoff, MD, FACS, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center.

Several hundred staff will be affected, including 140 physicians, 100 nurses, and others, Tarnoff said. Some may lose their jobs, while others could find new positions in Tufts or Boston Children's Hospital.

"Since 1796, it has been our mission to serve the medical needs of the adults and children in our community with the very best care, and we have done that with extraordinary skill and compassion. Our Medical Center has never been stronger, but now patient needs are changing," said Michael Tarnoff, MD, FACS, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center.

"As we look toward the future, we must make this difficult but crucial decision. I am confident that through this collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital, we will best serve the long-term health needs and well-being of our patients, our families, our employees, our trainees, and the communities Wellforce serves," Tarnoff added.

Tufts Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit will remain in operation, along with pediatric primary care services, the Center for Children with Special Needs, and the New England Pediatric Care, which is a long-term care facility for children.

"News of the collaboration is being shared now, despite the current COVID-19 surge, because of upcoming recruitment deadlines for resident trainees," Tufts said in its statement.

The change is expected to come to fruition starting July 1, pending regulatory approval.

Parents with questions can call the Tufts Medical Center pediatric hotline at 866-978-2339.

This article originally appeared on the Boston Patch

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