Travel cost help while renal unit is closed
8:54am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
SERIOUSLY ill patients will have their travel expenses reimbursed while the renal dialysis unit at Royal Bolton Hospital is shut for emergency repairs.
Work to repair the unit started this week and patients who use it are having to travel to Rochdale and Wigan.
The specialist unit, which treats 76 kidney outpatients from across Bolton and is just 10 years old, but needs urgent repairs to its floor at a cost of £74,000.
Problems with the building’s special membrane under the floor, which catches vapour, had led to bubble-like patches appearing. The unit has had to be closed while the floor is replaced.
This week’s meeting of Bolton Council’s health and overview scrutiny committee was told that the expected life of the floor is 10 to 15 years and replacement work could not be carried out while patients were using it.
Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of council’s Conservative group, has had three kidney transplants and received dialysis three times a week at the unit from when it opened in 2003 until he had transplant surgery last year.
He said: “Patients are now going at different times and travelling longer — you cannot underestimate how this will affect them.”
Ann Schenk, from the hospital’s NHS foundation trust, realised the disruption it would cause, but said: “Transport costs are being met by Salford”.
The renal unit is run by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, but the building is owned by the Royal Bolton Hospital, which must pay for the repairs.
Work is expected to take four weeks. Another four weeks of extra work will then take place, as the Salford trust is taking the opportunity to improve patient facilities, and the unit will not open again until March 11.
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