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15 December 2016
A Cumbrian hospital has been force to stop accepting new patients due to concerns over fire safety at the premises.
Ellerbeck ward at Workington Hospital is not admitting patients after a specialist report highlighted issues with the design of the building that would limit the ability to evacuate the first floor ward.
The News and Star reports that the defects concern fire stopping to the compartment walls and the design of the staircase.
A visit by the local fire service this week showed that precuaitonary measures were satisfactory, but that temporarily, the trust should not admit any more patients on the ward until the issues have been rectified.
Dr Craig Melrose, associate medical director, said: "The safety of our patients and staff is paramount and this new report is something we took immediate steps to act on as soon as we became aware of the risks.
"We have been reducing the number of patients on the ward since last week and the remaining patients will complete their care with us on the ward in line with their needs."
He added: "To limit the impact of the reduced availability of the beds across the system, we are discussing with our partners options for opening beds elsewhere and we will provide updates on this as soon as we are able.
"We would like to thank our staff, the fire service and our partners for their support."