Melton Hospital’s 17-bed in-patient ward is closing for five weeks with patients who need overnight stays being referred instead to community hospitals in Loughborough, Hinckley and Leicester in the meantime.
It has been announced today (Tuesday) that ‘essential repairs’ need to be carried out on the flooring with work due to start on August 15 and continue until the middle of September.
NHS Property Services and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust say the vinyl floor finish on the ward corridor and circulation space needs replacing at the 13-year-old Thorpe Road hospital.
Technical investigations have revealed that areas of the floor covering, the concrete screed topping and concrete sub-floor below need to be removed and replaced to rectify the defects.
The trust say protective screening will be provided around the works but, because of the large amounts of dust expected to be generated, it is likely that it will not all be contained within the immediate work areas.
Given the impact of the work being carried out, and a comprehensive review of health and safety considerations, it was decided that staff and patients should not remain on the ward.
In the run-up to the repairs, the number of beds will be reduced on the ward as patients are discharged and extra beds opened at community hospitals in Loughborough, Hinckley and at the Evington Centre in Leicester to offer cover for the temporary Melton closure.
Trust officials say it will be completed in good time for in-patients to return to the hospital to cope with the tradtional demand for beds over the winter period.
Ward manager at Melton Hospital, Lisa Farmer, said: “We apologise to all patients, carers and visitors and staff who are affected by this temporary closure and look forward to it reopening in September.”
Melton Hospital was opened in 2006 at a cost of £9million but its opening was delayed by a year following a contractual dispute over the quality of the flooring. A number of flooring areas were then relaid to resolve issues regarding its strength.
Other NHS services at the hospital will continue as normal throughout the temporary closure period — including the St Mary’s Birthing Centre, out-patient clinics and the urgent care centre.