Ellerbeck Ward update

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is preparing to temporarily open beds in a vacant ward at West Cumberland Hospital while works are ongoing to assess and rectify the building defects identified with the first floor Ellerbeck Ward at Workington Hospital.

Ellerbeck ward temporarily closed to admissions last week after a specialist report highlighted issues that would limit our ability to evacuate the first floor ward in the unlikely event of an incident.

As a result, the Trust implemented a series of precautionary measures including reducing the number of patients and increasing the number of staff available to conduct evacuation should it be needed. The ward was closed to admissions and all patients have completed their care with us and the ward is now empty.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service agreed that the Trust should not admit any more patients on the ward until the issues have been rectified. 

To maintain services as much as possible, we have agreed with colleagues to temporarily relocate staff and services that would have been provided from Ellerbeck ward  to a vacant ward at the West Cumberland Hospital (Ward 3B). The ward has previously been used as an escalation ward by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and therefore requires minimal work to open to patients. We are aiming to open up to 14 beds on the site which is the full number of beds we are commissioned to provide at Workington. The ward will operate in line with the policies and procedures of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and patients will be admitted according to the criteria for our community hospital beds.  

We are currently making logistical arrangements to transfer staff and provide induction into the new ward environment.

This is a temporary arrangement that we will be reviewing each month with our construction and fire service partners until the risk assessment is such that we can return activities back to Workington Hospital.

We are sorry that this may cause disruption for those patients who would normally be referred onto this ward. In the meantime we are working with Workington GPs to continue to care for patients in alternative care settings as well as opening beds at West Cumberland Hospital.

We are very grateful for the support we have received during this temporary disruption and hope to return services back to normal as soon as possible one rectification works are completed.