Criticised West Lane Hospital reopens as Acklam Road Hospital

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image captionWest Lane Hospital was closed in 2019 after the deaths of Christie Harnett and Nadia Sharif

A children's mental health unit which closed following the deaths of two girls is re-opening under a new name.

West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough was shut by inspectors in 2019 after the deaths of Christie Harnett and Nadia Sharif, who were both 17.

It has been renamed Acklam Road Hospital and opens on 10 May.

Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS Trust has taken over the hospital from Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust.

Casey Tremain, Christie's grandmother, said: "We're really pleased it's reopening because they're much needed beds.

"In an ideal world that hospital wouldn't have closed and Christie would still be here."

image captionService users and parents helped with the design of the bedrooms

West Lane Hospital was heavily criticised by the Care Quality Commission which found patients were at high risk of "avoidable harm".

Gary O'Hare, directory of nursing for the trust, said the hospital included a number of new features to improve safety of patients.

These included "ligature free" sinks, doors, showers and toilets in the bedrooms and infra-red scanners above each bed to monitor patients' pulse rate, breathing and movements.

Mr O'Hare said service users and parents had been involved in the hospital's design and recruitment of staff.

Patients will follow a school-like timetable with therapy and lessons while there will also be a music room, gym, faith centre and raised beds for gardening.

The aim is for children to spend no longer than 12 weeks at the hospital, the trust said.

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