Shrewsbury hospital ward not used over fire concern

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image captionA new £3m Royal Shrewsbury Hospital ward is being used as a discharge lounge after fire safety concerns

A £3m ward designed to relieve a hospital's winter intake is not being used because of fire safety concerns.

Suspected regulation failings of the building, which houses a 28-bed ward at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, means it is instead being used as a discharge lounge for patients.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said it was addressing the issue.

The newly designed ward, Ward 35, was previously an unused space in the hospital and dates back to the 1960s.

Fire regulation issues in the building were raised during a Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group meeting on Wednesday.

It also heard there may not be "enough staff" to run the new ward, which was officially opened in February.

The trust said it had "appropriately staffed capacity to meet patient needs" and that some issues had been identified within the building.

image copyrightPress Association / Rui Vieira
image captionThe Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said was addressing issues over the ward building

Nigel Lee, chief operating officer at the trust, said additional work was being carried out as quickly as possible with minimum disruption to services.

"It is important to stress that, in terms of winter capacity, SATH (Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust) has provided the expected capacity - and above expected capacity at peak times - for patients needing urgent care," he said.

It comes after the trust was put in special measures last year.

It has previously been rated "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission and has also been investigated over baby deaths.

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