A TEMPORARY kidney dialysis ward has opened at Banbury’s hospital after the unit was requisitioned to help cope with bed shortages in A&E.
The six-bed renal dialysis unit at the Horton General Hospital closed at the beginning of January to make way for a temporary ward after Oxfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust raised its status to ‘black alert’ due to extreme pressures on A&E services.
More general hospital beds were needed across the county due to seasonally high attendance at A&E, bed blocking and an outbreak of flu.
Now, the former F ward at the Oxford Road hospital has been transformed into a temporary renal dialysis unit operating six days a week.
While the Banbury renal site was closed, dialysis patients from north Oxfordshire had to travel to Oxford or other areas for their treatment.
Oxfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust said is was “enormously grateful” to patients for their “understanding”.
Temporary facilities and equipment are now in place and patients were able to return last week.
Allie Thornley, matron and clinical lead for renal medicine, said staff visited last Sunday to move medicines and ensure everything was ready for Monday morning.
She said: “It will be welcome news for our patients, who will once again have the convenience of dialysis closer to home.
“I would like to thank the estates team at the Horton for their help and am grateful for the flexibility of the dialysis nurses from both Oxford and the network units, many of whom have contributed by working additional shifts or travelling to other units – without them this could not have happened.”
The move was supported on social networking site Facebook, Sandra Bessford said “not before time” while Julie Stephenson called it “brilliant news”.
The dialysis centre opened at the hospital in 2012 after pressure from Banbury resident Miranda Berry, who highlighted the problems her husband Steven faced travelling to Oxford three times a week for dialysis.