Tees

New Redcar hospital 'under used' concern

Redcar Primary Care Hospital
Image caption Patients moved into the £37m hospital in January

Redcar's MP has questioned why the town's multi-million pound hospital is not being fully used nearly a year after it was completed.

The £37m Redcar Primary Care Hospital was finished in December with patients arriving in January.

Ian Swales said that he found operating theatres and an endoscopy unit were among the facilities not being used.

NHS Redcar and Cleveland said it was seeing an increase in patients and more services were planned for 2011.

The new facility replaced those at Stead Primary Care Hospital, in Kirkleatham.

It includes an in-patient ward, physiotherapy department, minor injuries unit and GP practices.

Significant improvement

Mr Swales said it was a "fantastic" facility for the town.

But he added: "I just want to know what the plans are for giving us the hospital that we were promised."

He said constituents had said they were still going to hospital in Middlesbrough more than they expected and wanted to see the hospital fully used.

"This hospital was completed at the end of 2009 so why is it taking so long to get the things we were promised?" he said.

NHS Redcar and Cleveland director of health systems development Martin Phillips said the hospital was a significant improvement for patients and staff.

He said: "The number of patients using the healthcare services in Redcar and Cleveland within the hospital has increased since the facility opened in December last year.

"We have seen an increase in the number of patients using the 'walk in' service compared to numbers accessing the former Stead Minor Injuries Unit.

"Inpatient beds on the Zetland Ward have been at more than 80% capacity since the facility opened in December last year."

He said more services were planned for next year.

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