Kettering General Hospital is moving a number of services from the top floor of its Rockingham Wing building so surveyors can continue to assess the condition of RAAC panels in the roof.
The presence of RAAC in the roof of the building, which is home to maternity and gynaecology services and a medical ward, was discovered late last year and the hospital had already moved some services in December so that surveyors could carry out intrusive assessments without interrupting patient care.
Since then, surveyors have been working their way through the building to inspect all areas of the roof and services have been temporarily moved to other parts of the building while RAAC experts inspect these areas. These inspections have only been partially completed but have found a number of individual RAAC panels which are in a critical condition.
The hospital has promptly closed these areas, which has meant it has now run out of additional space to move teams, patients and beds around to accommodate these vital assessments.
To enable surveyors access to the rest of the roof to ascertain the condition and the extent of remedial works needed, the hospital has decided to move more of the remaining services on the top floor of Rockingham Wing to other parts of our hospital in the next week.
Deborah Needham, Hospital Chief Executive, said: “The decision to move our services has not been an easy one but it’s vitally important that the surveyors complete their assessment of the building without impacting the care or experience for our patients, colleagues and visitors.
“The safety of our patients and our colleagues is our number one priority, and our teams have been working extremely hard to make sure we move our services in a safe, planned and calm manner to minimise disruption.
“Our services are being moved to other appropriate areas so our teams can continue to deliver safe and effective care in the right environment.
“I’d like to thank our brilliant teams, patients and partners for their cooperation, understanding and patience.”
Surveyors have confirmed that the ceiling/floor between the ground floor and first floor of Rockingham Wing are made from solid concrete and therefore do not require further assessments. As a result, services on the ground floor will continue as normal.
The hospital has contacted relatives and loved ones of any patients that have been moved and have kept partner organisation informed about all developments.
Assessments of the Rockingham building will continue over the next few weeks to determine a long-term plan for remedial works.
Hospital teams continue to work hard to ensure all of their comprehensive maternity and gynaecology services are maintained and are delivered in the right environment.
The moves will mean the hospital has a reduced bed capacity at a time of operational pressures. They are working with Northamptonshire health and care system partners to identify appropriate care settings in the community for patients who are medically-fit to leave hospital.