Anger over hospital delays

THERE was anger last night after health bosses announced the already delayed opening of a new £12 million hospital had been pushed further back due to infection concerns.

THERE was anger last night after health bosses announced the already delayed opening of a new £12 million hospital had been pushed further back due to infection concerns.

The Fryatt Hospital and Mayflower Medical Centre in Harwich should have been up and running for new patients in January but that was postponed until this month due to construction problems.

Initial difficulties occurred when lights for the operating theatre were put in the wrong place and flooring had to be replaced.

But now the move is on hold again after Tendring Primary Care Trust (PCT) said tests to ensure the hospital is free of infection could not be relied upon. A new date for the hospital opening has yet to be set.


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At the PCT's board meeting yesterday bosses revealed they could not guarantee infection control tests done on re-laid flooring would be of a high enough standard.

Another series of investigations were promised, taking at least two weeks, but health watchdogs reacted with anger to the news.

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It was the latest setback at the new hospital, which was officially handed over to the PCT last December with members of the public even being invited to tour the new site.

Brian McKeown, spokesman for the Tendring Patient and Public Involvement Forum (PPI) said: “The losers in all this are the patients - in November it was talked about as the flagship hospital of Harwich but it is now turning into a disaster and it has become an embarrassment.

“Also, what happens in two months time when Tendring PCT does not exist and the hospital is still not open?”

Patients are still being treated at the old out-dated Harwich Hospital or going to Colchester General Hospital with the PCT paying for the treatment.

A spokesman for Tendring PCT said: “Our plan to start moving staff and equipment across to the new Harwich health facility in mid-May has had to be delayed.

“The move was dependent on satisfactory infection control tests being carried out by the contractors on the remedial works - predominantly surrounding the flooring.

“Unfortunately, the PCT is not 100 % confident that these tests met strict infection control/occupational health requirements.

“A meeting has been planned for Thursday when PCT officials will meet with representatives from the contractor, Gleesons, Realise Health, Partnerships for Health and an independent consultant to ensure another round of tests is satisfactorily carried out.

“We appreciate people are eagerly awaiting the opening if this excellent new facility but we are also sure they would not want us to proceed with an opening until everything is 100 % ready and correct.”

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