MP’s concern as older patients at mental health hospital are moved to Hartlepool

Sandwell Park. Picture by FRANK REID
Sandwell Park. Picture by FRANK REID

MP Mike Hill says he is “concerned” after it was revealed that older patients at a mental health hospital have had to temporarily be moved to another site in Hartlepool due to problems with a new building.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust has moved some patients who were at Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough to Hartlepool’s Sandwell Park.

Bosses say that although problems with the new Roseberry Park building were identified earlier this year, work is now being carried out to address “construction defects”.

Mr Hill said: “I am very concerned that a major hospital newly built in Middlesbrough does not meet the required fire regulations and share the view of my neighbouring MP Andy McDonald that we need a full explanation as to how a new building that is so obviously and fundamentally flawed over secured regulation approval was approved in the first place.

“But putting that aside and the millions it is likely to cost the trust or the builders to correct the problem, I am more concerned about the impact on services being delivered out of Sandwell Park.

“I have already received some complaints about services to the elderly.”

Brent Kilmurray, deputy chief executive at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Three Valleys Healthcare Ltd, the PFI contractors who have responsibility for Roseberry Park Hospital, identified the fire safety issues last June.

“We took immediate action to mitigate the risks and to address the safety of service users, staff and visitors while they’re at Roseberry Park.

“However, these measures are not long term solutions and significant work is required to address the fire safety issues and the other construction defects.

“Our Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and forensic services will not be moving from Roseberry Park Hospital.

“Unfortunately, in order to carry out this work, we do need to temporarily move the older people’s inpatient services from Roseberry Park to Sandwell Park in Hartlepool.

“While the rectification work is taking place at Roseberry Park, adults from Hartlepool and Easington will be admitted to their next nearest hospital (either Roseberry Park or Lanchester Road Hospital).

“Older people from Hartlepool and Easington currently at Sandwell Park will remain there.

“We are offering support to patients, families and staff who need to travel further distances to receive care, visit loved ones or work.

“The health and the safety of our patients, staff and visitors – in Hartlepool and across the trust - is our main priority.”