Heanor patients to be moved

NRHNLC100908F1 - Heanor memorial hospital
NRHNLC100908F1 - Heanor memorial hospital

An asbestos find at Heanor Memorial Hospital is set to see patients moved to Ilkeston while the substance is removed.

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has confirmed that as part of its routine inspections on its premises a ‘small amount’ of brown asbestos has been found in the boiler room at the Ilkeston Road hospital.

The boiler room is located in the basement of the site.

Director of operations William Jones, said: “Experts have confirmed that these findings present no risk to the health and safety of our patients or visitors.

“The asbestos is safely contained within the boiler room area and is not airborne.

“The safety of our patients and staff is paramount and we have taken immediate steps to arrange the safe disposal of the asbestos by qualified specialists.”

The work is due to start on September 24, with patients moved on September 23.

The operation could take up to two weeks and will include a full survey of the building.

Mr Jones added: “For the comfort of our patients we have arranged for them to be temporarily cared for at Ilkeston Community Hospital, just two miles away. We expect them to be able to return to Heanor Hospital on 7 October.”

Brown asbestos, widely used for insulation, flooring and roofing in older buildings, can cause damage to lungs and lung cancers such as mesothelioma. It is now banned in the UK, but only becomes harmful when the fibres are airborne.

However a spokesperson for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which manages the Heanor site says patients are being moved because the asbestos disposal team will be working in the boiler room and electrical power and hot water will be disrupted.

There are currently 13 inpatients residing at the 16 bed ward of the Ilkeston Road hospital.

However the spokesperson said: “By the time of the move we anticipate there will be 10 patients to transfer to Ilkeston. The patients are predominantly elderly palliative care or rehabilitation patients.”

Physiotherapy services will remain on site, as this takes place in a separate part of the building.

The spokesperson said all patients have been informed of the move, which will also see staff relocated at the Ilkeston site temporarily.