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Temporary patient moves to allow safety work at Weardale Community Hospital

Weardale hospital

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the temporary move of patients from the ward at Weardale Community Hospital to Bishop Auckland Hospital to allow safety works to take place on the existing fire alarm system.

NHS Property Service the owners of the hospital building have notified the Trust that the full system needs replacing and that the work cannot be carried out while patients are receiving care and services in the hospital.

This means that for a temporary period starting on Monday 6 February patients who are being cared for on the ward at Weardale Community Hospital will be safely transferred to ward 6 at Bishop Auckland Hospital to allow the works to take place.

weardale ward move

Noel Scanlon, Executive Director of Nursing for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have been informed by NHS Property Services that the current fire alarm system at Weardale Community Hospital needs to be replaced. This is an important safety feature and we are supportive of the need to undertake this work. Unfortunately due to the level of disruption likely, and to ensure that the works are carried out in the safest way possible, we need to temporary move patients out of the hospital while the work is taking place.

"We have plans in place to safely move patients from Weardale Community Hospital to Ward 6 at Bishop Auckland Hospital over the weekend of 4th and 5th of February. We will do this in a planned way using patient transport services and supported by our own colleagues to minimise distress and make sure our patients are as comfortable as possible during the move.

"Our nursing and therapy teams will also be moving with the patients so there will be a consistency to their care and familiar faces to support them during the move.

"As soon as the works are completed, which we expect to take approximately four weeks, we will be supporting patients, and our own teams, to be transferred back to the ward at Weardale Community Hospital."

The works on the fire system replacement will begin on Monday 6 February following the patient moves. The works are expected to take approximately four weeks to complete. Weardale Community Hospital will then be taken through a full cleaning programme to ensure it is ready to be re-opened to patients.

Louise West, Community Matron, for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, added: "We understand this may cause some distress or upset to our patients or their loved ones and would like to apologise for this. We will be speaking with patients and families in the lead up to the move and during the whole temporary re-location period to answer any questions and to ensure they feel supported."

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital