Patients have returned to Priory ward in Guisborough Primary Care Hospital exactly a month since they had to make a rushed exit.
The patients were hurriedly moved out to other primary care hospitals in the area after an underground gas leak was discovered on Sunday 28 April.
While the leak was immediately capped off and made safe, the 18 patients – all elderly – were moved to either Middlesbrough’s Carter Bequest Hospital, Redcar Primary Care Hospital or East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital in Brotton, as there was no heating and hot water.
Although contractors repaired the gas leak quickly there was a problem when they tried re-firing the heating system which also affected the hot water supply. The system kept intermittently switching itself off and a decision was taken not to move patients back until the cause of the fault had been found and permanently rectified.
The urgent care centre, in the Guisborough hospital, also had to be closed on Sunday 28 April, but opened up the following day and the trust’s outpatient clinics and its other services run at the hospital, such as radiology which run Monday to Friday, were unaffected.
Divisional manager for community services Mandy Headland said: “In situations like this, which are unforeseeable, our first priority is the safety and welfare of patients and we quickly took the decision to temporarily move them to other hospitals in the area.
“We are delighted that the problem has now been fully resolved and the patients have been able to return to Priory ward, although we had hoped this would have happened sooner. I’d like to thank all our staff for their continued dedication and understanding, as well as the contractors and our colleagues at the North East Ambulance Service who all helped us to realise this welcomed outcome.”