A HOSPITAL ward should be reopened by Christmas.
The 24-bed John Van Geest unit, which is the last inpatient ward at Stamford Hospital, has been closed since August. Four patients contracted a superbug and during a deep clean of the hospital, a need for a refurbishment was revealed.
The patients were transferred to Peterborough City Hospital.
Initially, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust said the ward could be closed for up to six months.
But this week a spokesman said: “The working group set up to establish the future of the the ward has now agreed the specification of work for the refurbishment.
“We are awaiting feedback from contractors to discuss the costs and determine a timescale for the work to take place. However, preliminary discussions suggest an eight-week turnaround, with the ward to be reopened by Christmas.”
The Friends of Stamford Hospital, who raise funds to provide extra equipment for the hospital and its patients, has welcomed the news.
Committee member Ian Campbell said: “Because of the funding cuts, we feared the closure would become a permanent thing but the hospital trust has always assured us that would not be the case.
“It does seem to be moving a little bit more quickly than we first anticipated though and it is incredibly good news for patients if it is going to be open again by Christmas.”
MP for Stamford Nick Boles (Con) attended a Friends meeting in the hospital’s new museum.
Mr Boles said: “I was delighted to meet the Friends and learn more both about the history of this much loved institution but also about the important work it does today.
“Stamford Hospital plays a crucial role in serving local people and taking the pressure off Peterborough City Hospital.
“Although the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust will have to make some economies to deal with its deficit and Stamford Hospital cannot expect to be completely unaffected, I am confident that the Van Geest ward will reopen and the future of Stamford Hospital will be as bright and busy as its past.”
The next trust board meeting will be held at Peterborough City Hospital on Tuesday at 10am. There will be the opportunity for members of the public to ask questions on the topics discussed at the end of the meeting.