Sussex hospital temporarily closed after building defects discovered
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Zachary Merton Community Hospital, in Rustington, has taken the decision to ‘temporarily close the intermediate care unit’ – due to ‘compounding estate issues’.
A statement on the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust website read: “Following leaks from the water tank at Zachary Merton Community Hospital which has affected the ceiling structure and integrity, we have had to move staff from the first floor as a precautionary measure.
“Further investigations by our estates team have highlighted compounding issues affecting the whole building, including problems with the heating system and water seepage.”
The trust said patient safety is ‘our absolute priority’ and – a period of colder weather continues – ‘it’s essential we can maintain a consistent temperature appropriate for an inpatient healthcare setting’.
A spokesperson added: “On this basis, a decision has been made to close the site and relocate patients being cared for in the intermediate care unit on the ground floor, so that we can continue to provide safe care in a suitable environment.
“Zachary Merton Community Hospital will remain temporarily closed from December 1 while the estates infrastructure is thoroughly assessed and any necessary repair works take place.
“Patients currently requiring intermediate care will continue to receive the care they need in an alternative location, such as an alternate hospital or via community care services in their own home and we are working with patients, relatives and their clinical teams to ensure that they are fully supported during this time.”
‘As part of ongoing winter preparations’, the trust is also working with teams to ‘build additional capacity’ within the community ‘so that we can care for even more patients in their homes’.