Temporary entrance to Blackburn Hospital blasted by elderly and disabled (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Temporary entrance to Blackburn Hospital blasted by elderly and disabled
THE temporary entrance at the Royal Blackburn Hospital has been blasted by patients as “unsuitable for the elderly and disabled.”
The main entrance has been closed since mid-May, while work continues to fit a larger, revolving door, that will improve access for visitors.
The alternative entrance is 100 metres along, and up a hill at the level two entrance adjacent to the Grane restaurant. It takes patients and visitors on a meandering path through a narrow corridor, and down a flight of steps.
One 82-year-old patient, who asked not to be named, said: “The temporary arrange-ment is not suitable at all for the elderly or people with disabilities. It’s on a hill, and it’s a huge task to get up it for anyone with walking problems or people pushing a wheelchair.
“I’m disabled but I can walk a bit, and I’ve had to help a man out who was struggling to push his wife up the hill.
“All I have been told is that they’re putting a new door in. Well, it seems to be taking an awfully long time to do that.”
As well as improved access, it is also hoped that the new configuration will help to ventilate the area during the summer months and reduce heat loss during the winter.
The main entrance is not expected to reopen until mid-July, and until then, the hospital has instructed taxis to only stop outside the temporary exit, there is a staffed wheelchair hub, and extra staff in high-visibility jackets are on hand to help.
Access to the A&E department, Urgent Care Centre and Day Surgery is not affected, and the shuttle bus stop will remain in place.
Sue Chapman, head of facilities at ELHT said she was “very sorry” the pensioner was unable to find help at the hospital.
She said: “The replacement of the entrance doors is essential to improve access to the hospital. The construction work is currently scheduled for completion towards the end of this month.
“We appreciate that the work means that people have had to use temporary entrances. We ask that if someone does need assistance to wait until a support team worker is available at the relevant entrance; the team can then support patients and visitors to their destination in the hospital.”
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