- Darlington Memorial Hospital
Darlington Memorial Hospital County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Geography Location Darlington, County Durham, England, United Kingdom Organisation Care system Public NHS Hospital type District General Services Emergency department Yes Accident & Emergency Beds 437 History Founded 5th May 1933 Links Website Website Lists Hospitals in England
Darlington Memorial Hospital provides acute hospital services for the area around Darlington, South Durham and parts of North Yorkshire. Its quality of services and use of resources were rated 'excellent' by the HealthCare Commission Ratings.
The Hospital is run by (and serves as the headquarters for) the County Durham and Darlington Foundation NHS Trust, which achieved Foundation Trust status in 2007.
These include: Accident and Emergency, Maternity/SCBU, Children's Ward, Trauma and Orthopaedics, General Surgery (Day Surgery, Elective Surgery and Emergency Surgery), Acute Medical, Chemotherapy, Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), High Dependency Unit(HDU), Coronary Care (CCU), Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Unit and Eye Unit.
The main 'tower block' is the most modern and distinctive part of the hospital. It has a basement a ground floor and six further floors. It contains all the wards in the hospital, the eye and ENT departments, the pathology department, the lecture theatre and library, catering services, restaurant and some administrative facilities.
To the front of this is a three-storey building which contains accident and emergency, the main outpatients department, theatres, radiography and physiotherapy. The pharmacy and domestics are in the basement of this building.
The site also contains 'the Women's Centre' and a large portion of the offices for the health trust.
Other facilities include a childcare centre for the doctors and a social club which is also available for hire to the general public.
Children's psychology is still provided on the DMH site in the 'Mulberry Centre', managed by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV). TEWV's predecessors operated a psychiatric unit on site until its relocation to the new West Park Hospital on the outskirts of Darlington.
Recently the stroke rehabilitation unit has been relocated to Bishop Auckland General Hospital, however Darlington still continues to treat acute stroke patients. In recent years many of Bishop Auckland's maternity beds have been transferred to Darlington.
There are some services such as neurosurgery, heart surgery and radiotherapy which are not provided at Darlington Memorial Hospital. The super-sized James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough is the region's designated hospital for these specialties. The hospital also provides no intermediate care for rehab patients. Most of these are treated at Bishop Auckland General Hospital and the Richardson Community Hospital in Barnard Castle.
While this hospital is designated for Eye and Ear, Nose and Throat surgery, University Hospital of North Durham in Durham City deals with plastic surgery, vascular surgery and dermatology.
Darlington Memorial Hospital also takes the trauma, emergency surgery cases, and babies needing special care baby unit treatment from the Bishop Auckland catchment area.
The first hospital to open in Darlington was the Hundens Lane Isolation Hospital in the 1800s. Soon after this Darlington Hospital and dispensary opened on Russell Street. Greenbank Maternity Hospital opened in the late nineteenth century and a Red Cross Hospital operated on Skinnergate in the early 20th century.
Darlington Memorial Hospital was officially opened in 1933 by Prince George, (who later became the Duke of York). Many people gathered to see its official opening.
The 'Memorial Hall' is the only remaining part of the original hospital and is a listed building and stands behind the war memorial which existed before the hospital did. It is now used for occupational health, the personnel department and the training and development offices. Much of the older hospital was sited on what is now the visitors' car park. Hundens Lane Hospital later became an ear, nose and throat hospital before its closure. Greenbank Maternity hospital also closed and both are now demolished.
The 'New Hospital' was officially opened in 1980. Most of the beds are now in 6 bedded single sex bays with toilets and shower facilities. There are no 'Nightingale' wards remaining.
Changes in November 2009
As part of the Trust's programme "Seizing the Future", November 2009 saw the closure of acute services on the Bishop Auckland site and patients were transferred to the Durham and Darlington sites instead. This had major implications for patient care on the Darlington site, with inadequate staff being made available to deal with the increase in patients admitted. The loss of 3 acute medical wards at Bishop Auckland was compensated with the opening of an additional 2 bays at Darlington. This resulted in a substantial increase in the throughput on the medical wards, without any extra staff. Patient satisfaction ratings declined sharply.
- NHS Website for Darlington Memorial Hospital. Last retrieved October 25, 2006.
- Patient services and waiting times. Last retrieved October 25, 2006.
- County Durham and Darlington Foundation NHS Trust website.
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