The Fryatt Hospital and Mayflower Medical Centre in Harwich, Essex, opened in December 2005, having been built using a scheme similar to the private finance initiative (PFI).Yay!
But since its opening, the hospital has been dogged by problems.Don’t panic, though! No-one’s been sacked or demoted for this. You see, it’s all the fault of…unforeseen changes.
There was a three-year delay in getting GPs to move into the centre, half the floor had to be replaced, people were unhappy with the fact that its minor injuries unit was not open at night, and its x-ray department was cut to three days a week.
However, most complaints centred on the fact that its operating theatre was not being used. It was intended for minor procedures including foot operations.
Now North East Essex Primary Care Trust, which runs the hospital, has admitted it never will be.
Well, the lack of use of the theatre part, anyway. The report doesn’t say what amazing, innovative excuse the Trust came up with for all the other complaints…
Matt Bushell, acting chief executive, said changes in patient safety regulations regarding anaesthetics since its opening meant the operating theatre was now no longer "viable".It’s impossible to renovate it, then?
A spokesman for the trust added that it had been "the victim of unfortunate timing" regarding changes in legislation.Or the victim of utterly incompetent management…
Mr Bushell stressed that the theatre only took up about five per cent of the space of the hospital, which offered more than 60 health services.Quite…
John Brown from Harwich Town Council described the new hospital as a "white elephant" and said: "It has been a waste of money."
"For the millions it cost to build the new hospital they should have spent a fraction of that renovating the old hospital," he said.