Previously agreed plans for transferring mental health inpatient beds from the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton have now been finalised and services will move by the end of February 2019.
In October last year, following a public consultation, NHS Hambleton and Richmondshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust agreed to strengthen community services to support more people at home and reduce the need for admission to hospital.
At the time the local NHS also confirmed that inpatient services would move from the outdated wards at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton to modern inpatient accommodation.
The Trust also committed to investing in a new community mental health hub in Northallerton.
It was agreed that people who needed to spend time in hospital would be admitted to either West Park Hospital at Darlington or Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough, whilst specialist inpatient care for people with dementia would continue to be provided at Auckland Park in Bishop Auckland.
The transfer of services was delayed because of ongoing work to fix a range of serious construction problems at Roseberry Park.
The Trust has now confirmed that the planned move can go ahead. However, because of the building work, older people’s inpatient services will be provided at West Park Hospital, instead of Roseberry Park, until Autumn 2019. This will only affect a small number of people.
Ruth Hill, chief operating officer at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are sorry that some families will need to travel to Darlington instead of Middlesbrough because of the work we need to do at Roseberry Park but we will do all we can to minimise the impact on them.
“We are committed to providing local people with the best possible mental health care.
“For most people this means supporting them to remain at home or reducing the length of time they spend in hospital.
“We’re already seeing a reduction in the number of people who are admitted to hospital and we expect this to continue as our community services are strengthened.”