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.
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
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
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital