Ellerbeck ward was temporarily closed in December 2016 after a specialist report showed there were defects such that the building did not fully meet current fire safety requirements. It also showed that design and construction issues at Workington Hospital meant it was very difficult to promptly evacuate all patients from the first floor ward in the unlikely event that this was necessary.
Since that time the Trust has worked closely with partners to resolve the construction issues and has also been putting in place further measures to ensure that the ward can be promptly evacuated in the unlikely event of a fire.
Joanna Forster Adams, Director of Operations at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are now confident that all issues relating to the fire safety of Ellerbeck have been addressed and we have reopened the ward to admissions. We would like to thank the public for their patience while we have worked to fix the issues and also to our staff who have showed continued professionalism and team work throughout this process. The staff have worked as part of other teams ensuring that patients from the Workington area have been cared for in alternative community hospitals in the meantime, enabling them to form valuable new relationships with other colleagues as part of this process.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to the partners who worked with us to rectify the issues, particularly Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.”
The closure of the ward gave the Trust the opportunity to begin some improvement work to the ward including fully redecorating the ward, introducing a new wet room and store room and improved hand washing facilities for visitors. This work will be completed over the next few weeks and will not cause any disruption to patients.
Elllerbeck Ward is a 14 bedded unit providing GP/nurse led medical, nursing, rehabilitation and end of life care.