13.03.19

Structural defects ‘boggle the imagination’ at Roseberry hospital and will take five years to fix

A hospital plagued with structural problems will take “four to five years” to fully repair after a special task force found “serious failings” by contractors had caused avoidable but serious defects.

Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough opened in 2011 but has been beset with structural issues with fire safety woes, roof defects and plumbing problems.

The extent of the damage was such that Tees, Esk, and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV) took Three Valleys Healthcare Limited (TVH) to court last year and won a legal battle to terminate its £321m contract with the PFI provider.

Now a long-awaited report from a special task force has warned that “rectification work” by the TEWV trust “may take four to five years” with no definite end date in site.

The report from the Tees Valley joint health scrutiny committee said it was “very concerned” at the extent of the repair work needed, revealing that construction defects at the hospital were found soon after its opening and again in 2015.

Defects included gaps around fire doors, missing wall supports, poor quality flooring, and issues with heating, hot water and drainage.

Ian Jeffrey, the councillor who led the task group, told a committee meeting this week that the hospital’s condition “boggled the imagination.”

He said: “This is really quite a scandal in terms of things which happened which should not have happened.

“The inconvenience and disruption is clearly something the trust has noticed and had to deal with for some considerable time.”

In 2017, issues with the hospital building forced mental health patients to be transferred to Hartlepool, and whilst staff at Roseberry Park have been praised for their approach to the struggle, the task force stressed that these problems were avoidable.

“There were some serious failings insofar of the contractors themselves.

“The group is also clear that this situation should never have arisen in the first place, and would support all efforts to make sure that other services are not affected in this way, both locally and across the country.”

Committee chair Lisa Grainge echoed Jeffrey in that the problems never should have happened and said “it has had a detrimental impact both on the trust's staff and service users.”

The director of operations at TEWV, Dominic Gardner, commented: “It's been clear from the outset that staff in our adult and older people's service have been absolutely phenomenal - with no small amount of disruption to themselves.”

Image credit - Google Images

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