Kidney patients face travel misery as renal unit closes

SERIOUSLY ill kidney patients are facing major disruption as the Royal Bolton Hospital’s renal unit undergoes emergency repairs.

Patients will have to travel to hospitals across the region.

The specialist unit, which treats 76 kidney outpatients from across Bolton and is just 10 years old, needs urgent repairs to its floor at a cost of £70,000.

Patients will have to travel to Rochdale and Wigan for the next two months for their treatment.

Problems with the building’s special “membrane” under the floor, which catches vapour, has led to holes and “bubble-like” patches appearing.

Health chiefs say this could pose a health and safety risk to staff and patients.

A leading borough politician and former kidney transplant patient, Cllr David Greenhalgh, says the closure is “a disgrace”

and has demanded answers as to whether “corners were cut” during construction, a claim strongly denied by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Cllr Greenhalgh, leader of Bolton Council’s Conservative group, has had three kidney transplants and received dialysis for four hours, three times a week, at the unit since it opened in 2003 until he underwent transplant surgery last year.

He said: “Some very serious questions have to be answered. I shall be asking for a full report to come to the next Health Scrutiny Committee to get to the bottom of how this was allowed to happen.

“The lives of these patients, who live with kidney failure and dialysis, and whose lives are disrupted enough, are going to be disrupted even more for two months as they are shipped back and forwards to Wigan and Rochdale while the structural repair takes place.”

Bosses from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, which will have to pay for the repairs, apologised to patients.

Stephen Tyldesley, associate director of estates and facilities at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clearly we can’t leave the floor to get worse as this would affect the safety of patients and staff.

“I apologise for the fact patients will not be able to have their dialysis at the unit in Bolton for a while, but I’m sure they will understand that fixing the floor is in their interests.”

The firm which built the unit stopped trading in 2010 and the unit is run by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust but on the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is landlord of, and responsible for, the maintenance of the estate at the renal unit at the Royal Bolton Hospital. There was no error, corners were not cut.”

She stressed this type of flooring was guaranteed for between five and 10 years and renewing floors at the hospital was not unusual—but part of a “continuous programme of maintenance”.

The floor needs to be of a “very high specification” so it is durable for heavy use and also to meet infection control standards.

Patients will be “supported with travel arrangements to alternative sites”. The spokeswoman added: “Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has taken the opportunity of the centre being closed to undertake improvements to patient facilities, which will increase the duration of the closure by a further four weeks.”

Repairs are due to start on Monday, January 14, with the work expected to take four weeks.

A further four weeks of work to make improvements to the unit will then take place, and the unit will not open again until March 11.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust faces having to make savings of £50 million over three years with up to 500 jobs under threat.

Last August the Trust was put in “red risk” by health watchdog Monitor, following a damning report into its finances and governance.

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for renal services in the “west sector” of Greater Manchester, including Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Wigan, Bolton and Trafford, and it has three “satellite units” at Bolton, Wigan and Rochdale.

A spokeswoman for Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust said: “Salford Royal is investing to make improvements to patient and clinical facilities.

“New clinic areas will be created and in response to patient feedback a new private weighing room.

“We would like to thank our patients and staff for their support during this temporary service change.”

Comments (15)

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10:23am Sat 5 Jan 13

oftbewildered2 says...

if it is broken - then it needs fixing. End of story. People want to puff up their own importance by accusing hospitals etc. of cutting corners. No one knowingly buys sub-standard stuff; they can't afford to, and they are not clairvoyant. It will give the Trust the opportunity to put in improvements if they are needed. Investigate by all means, but do not always assume that 'somebody is responsible' when things go wrong.
if it is broken - then it needs fixing. End of story. People want to puff up their own importance by accusing hospitals etc. of cutting corners. No one knowingly buys sub-standard stuff; they can't afford to, and they are not clairvoyant. It will give the Trust the opportunity to put in improvements if they are needed. Investigate by all means, but do not always assume that 'somebody is responsible' when things go wrong. oftbewildered2

1:06pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Edgey72 says...

From what i have heard the biggest problem for patients was finding out late. One patient has had to ring up the unit he is going to today to see what time his slot is. It looks like it just has not been properly organised for the patients who are the ones most affected by this.
From what i have heard the biggest problem for patients was finding out late. One patient has had to ring up the unit he is going to today to see what time his slot is. It looks like it just has not been properly organised for the patients who are the ones most affected by this. Edgey72

1:22pm Sat 5 Jan 13

macauley says...

more of the same...organised caos.ten out of ten bolton.
more of the same...organised caos.ten out of ten bolton. macauley

1:46pm Sat 5 Jan 13

boltonnut says...

Ten years old and needs repairing?I'd be getting the builders back to do the job correctly,free of charge.
Ten years old and needs repairing?I'd be getting the builders back to do the job correctly,free of charge. boltonnut

2:25pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Citizen Cane says...

Have you tried to get builders to admit liability? The floor screeder will blame the application, the fitter will blame the manufacturer, who will blame the adhesive manufacturer who will blame the fitter...
Have you tried to get builders to admit liability? The floor screeder will blame the application, the fitter will blame the manufacturer, who will blame the adhesive manufacturer who will blame the fitter... Citizen Cane

2:31pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Rememberscarborough says...

or it could be the architect who has specified the wrong materials. In an era when the public sector want the cheapest possible job is it any surprise that defects happen? Expect more and more of these closures within the next decade as cheap materials fail because they aren't fit for purpose.
or it could be the architect who has specified the wrong materials. In an era when the public sector want the cheapest possible job is it any surprise that defects happen? Expect more and more of these closures within the next decade as cheap materials fail because they aren't fit for purpose. Rememberscarborough

9:06pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Horwich Observer says...

boltonnut wrote:
Ten years old and needs repairing?I'd be getting the builders back to do the job correctly,free of charge.
How when the company stopped trading in 2010?

The Trust is landlord of, and responsible for, the maintenance of the estate at the renal unit at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
[quote][p][bold]boltonnut[/bold] wrote: Ten years old and needs repairing?I'd be getting the builders back to do the job correctly,free of charge.[/p][/quote]How when the company stopped trading in 2010? The Trust is landlord of, and responsible for, the maintenance of the estate at the renal unit at the Royal Bolton Hospital. Horwich Observer

10:07pm Sat 5 Jan 13

macauley says...

i think they are taking the p~~~s.pardon the pun.
i think they are taking the p~~~s.pardon the pun. macauley

10:22pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Andyroost says...

Id like to see a breakdown how a floor can cost £70'000 to repair. aspalt - £17 per metre sqaure, flooring as used in schools around £20 per metre, The kidney unit at the hospital must be the size of a football field or has the person handing out the contract got a vested interest in who gets the work. Or have they got to get a surveyor in to check and verify the problem and an assistant and a friend to give the same opinion. Wake up, get a local reputable companies in and demand a written 25 year no condition guarantee. get three prices. dont allow any extras. If that cost £70000 Im in the wrong job, and so are you
Id like to see a breakdown how a floor can cost £70'000 to repair. aspalt - £17 per metre sqaure, flooring as used in schools around £20 per metre, The kidney unit at the hospital must be the size of a football field or has the person handing out the contract got a vested interest in who gets the work. Or have they got to get a surveyor in to check and verify the problem and an assistant and a friend to give the same opinion. Wake up, get a local reputable companies in and demand a written 25 year no condition guarantee. get three prices. dont allow any extras. If that cost £70000 Im in the wrong job, and so are you Andyroost

1:16am Sun 6 Jan 13

oftbewildered2 says...

boltonnut wrote:
Ten years old and needs repairing?I'd be getting the builders back to do the job correctly,free of charge.
the firm which built the unit went out of business in 2010, according to the article
[quote][p][bold]boltonnut[/bold] wrote: Ten years old and needs repairing?I'd be getting the builders back to do the job correctly,free of charge.[/p][/quote]the firm which built the unit went out of business in 2010, according to the article oftbewildered2

8:50am Sun 6 Jan 13

HappyDay2013 says...

Well done for making comment Without knowing all the facts.

It's is truly inspiring how the renal teams have pulled together in this unfortunate turn of events. They had very little notice themselves and ALL the staff of Bolton renal unit are going out of there way travelling miles extra to ensure their patients care is put first. They rent the site at Bolton and have been waiting for repairs for years. Not knowing the cause of their problems. It was very sudden when they were told they would have to leave. The drivers of the unit are unbelievable, the support they give to the patients is amazing. NO ONE patient or staff or relative can dispute this. Big well done to Wigan and Rochdale units for housing your Bolton renal family. The renal family consists of staff and patient alike because renal failure is for life and they support the patients 100% in their everyday living.
Keep up the good work renal services of Salford royal foundation trust. (They rent the Bolton site)
Well done for making comment Without knowing all the facts. It's is truly inspiring how the renal teams have pulled together in this unfortunate turn of events. They had very little notice themselves and ALL the staff of Bolton renal unit are going out of there way travelling miles extra to ensure their patients care is put first. They rent the site at Bolton and have been waiting for repairs for years. Not knowing the cause of their problems. It was very sudden when they were told they would have to leave. The drivers of the unit are unbelievable, the support they give to the patients is amazing. NO ONE patient or staff or relative can dispute this. Big well done to Wigan and Rochdale units for housing your Bolton renal family. The renal family consists of staff and patient alike because renal failure is for life and they support the patients 100% in their everyday living. Keep up the good work renal services of Salford royal foundation trust. (They rent the Bolton site) HappyDay2013

11:36am Sun 6 Jan 13

afemale says...

oftbewildered2 wrote:
if it is broken - then it needs fixing. End of story. People want to puff up their own importance by accusing hospitals etc. of cutting corners. No one knowingly buys sub-standard stuff; they can't afford to, and they are not clairvoyant. It will give the Trust the opportunity to put in improvements if they are needed. Investigate by all means, but do not always assume that 'somebody is responsible' when things go wrong.
if it is broken then YES fix it, trouble is money has been spent on "fixing" things that haven't been broken!!! and surely certain jobs done by builders should come with some kind of guarantee, its a well known fact that alot of companies over the years have charged the NHS the earth and made huge profits out of the service
[quote][p][bold]oftbewildered2[/bold] wrote: if it is broken - then it needs fixing. End of story. People want to puff up their own importance by accusing hospitals etc. of cutting corners. No one knowingly buys sub-standard stuff; they can't afford to, and they are not clairvoyant. It will give the Trust the opportunity to put in improvements if they are needed. Investigate by all means, but do not always assume that 'somebody is responsible' when things go wrong.[/p][/quote]if it is broken then YES fix it, trouble is money has been spent on "fixing" things that haven't been broken!!! and surely certain jobs done by builders should come with some kind of guarantee, its a well known fact that alot of companies over the years have charged the NHS the earth and made huge profits out of the service afemale

5:25pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Beyond News Forum says...

Citizen Cane wrote:
Have you tried to get builders to admit liability? The floor screeder will blame the application, the fitter will blame the manufacturer, who will blame the adhesive manufacturer who will blame the fitter...
No no no no no this is NOT how it works... big business is just like the banksters. They are above the law!
[quote][p][bold]Citizen Cane[/bold] wrote: Have you tried to get builders to admit liability? The floor screeder will blame the application, the fitter will blame the manufacturer, who will blame the adhesive manufacturer who will blame the fitter...[/p][/quote]No no no no no this is NOT how it works... big business is just like the banksters. They are above the law! Beyond News Forum

5:27pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Beyond News Forum says...

oftbewildered2 wrote:
if it is broken - then it needs fixing. End of story. People want to puff up their own importance by accusing hospitals etc. of cutting corners. No one knowingly buys sub-standard stuff; they can't afford to, and they are not clairvoyant. It will give the Trust the opportunity to put in improvements if they are needed. Investigate by all means, but do not always assume that 'somebody is responsible' when things go wrong.
On the face of what you say, I do agree with you.

But there is higher level liability period. But it is a fact that many man hours and tens of thousands would be spent fining out who. So it is as you are quietly implying, better to suck it in and get on with it in this case. Even if my last comment is true :p
[quote][p][bold]oftbewildered2[/bold] wrote: if it is broken - then it needs fixing. End of story. People want to puff up their own importance by accusing hospitals etc. of cutting corners. No one knowingly buys sub-standard stuff; they can't afford to, and they are not clairvoyant. It will give the Trust the opportunity to put in improvements if they are needed. Investigate by all means, but do not always assume that 'somebody is responsible' when things go wrong.[/p][/quote]On the face of what you say, I do agree with you. But there is higher level liability period. But it is a fact that many man hours and tens of thousands would be spent fining out who. So it is as you are quietly implying, better to suck it in and get on with it in this case. Even if my last comment is true :p Beyond News Forum

12:35pm Mon 7 Jan 13

MattRimmer says...

As a former kidney patient at Bolton I also think that if its broken then fix it but also think that maybe this could have been prevented. the unit is still relatively new and things like this should not be happening. for the patients there I can only have sympathy for them because the treatment they get is very hard and enduring and adding extra travel time is only going to make it harder. I'm just wondering why Salford Hospital isn't taking any extra patients on which is nearer then Rochdale and Wigan.
As a former kidney patient at Bolton I also think that if its broken then fix it but also think that maybe this could have been prevented. the unit is still relatively new and things like this should not be happening. for the patients there I can only have sympathy for them because the treatment they get is very hard and enduring and adding extra travel time is only going to make it harder. I'm just wondering why Salford Hospital isn't taking any extra patients on which is nearer then Rochdale and Wigan. MattRimmer

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