The opening of a new hospital in the North East has been delayed as it awaits final approval from an independent health regulator.
Hopewood Park hospital in Ryhope, Sunderland, was originally expected to open at the end of this month but that has now been put back to the beginning of September.
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust’s (NTW) – a mental health and disability Trust – is awaiting final approval from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which is necessary before the site becomes fully operational.
The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England and has responsibility for making sure new buildings such as Hopewood Park are up to specification.
Executive director of nursing and operations, Gary O’Hare, said: “Our staff are busy making sure that everything is in place when we welcome our first patients to Hopewood Park in September.
“Around 800 people came along to our Hopewood Park open days and I hope they came away with a positive impression of their new hospital.”
Once fully open the hospital will include six wards, each with 18 individual en-suite rooms for urgent care assessment and treatment.
Hopewood Park is the final stage of NTWs £60m project which saw the opening of the new dementia centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital last year, and the official opening earlier this month.
It will care for patients who have complex ongoing needs and require rehabilitation services. It also includes a 14-bed psychiatric intensive care unit.
The 122-bed hospital comprises six wards, each with 18 individual en-suite rooms for urgent care assessment and treatment.
James Duncan, the trust’s deputy chief executive, said: “Since May 2012 the Transforming Services plans have been further developed and we are now implementing changes in the way we provide community services in the Sunderland and South Tyneside area.
“These have been designed around the needs of service users to give excellent support, with the right interventions at the right time to people living in their own communities.
“This will reduce the demand for mental health beds in the local area but we want to ensure that when people do need to be cared for as an inpatient, they receive the best possible care in an environment that promotes recovery.
“Hopewood Park has been designed with care to support service users achieve this both now and especially in the future, and it will be a real pleasure to see how this new building and its staff will help people achieve their goals on their journey to recovery.”
The new £50m Hopewood Park offers a central facilities building called the Barton Centre featuring a range of other services including a café, mental health act tribunal offices, faith centre, physical treatment suite, pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and exercise therapy.