Final tests due before endoscopy unit reopens

The Day Case Unit
The Day Case Unit

AN ENDOSCOPY unit which had to close after rust was found in machinery is due to reopen soon.

Health bosses said that final checks are due to carried out imminently on the unit, at Harborough’s St Luke’s Hospital in Leicester Road.

It was closed in September, less than 10 months after it opened.

Richard Lyne, the general manager for Leicestershire County and Rutland Outpatient, Diagnostic and Day Case Services, said: “The manufacturers have completed their rep[airs to the equipment and we are now running tests to make sure we are confident it is fully operational for use again.

“All being well with the tests, we expect to start seeing patients over the coming days.”

District councillor and health campaigner Phil Knowles welcomed the news but said questions still needed answering.

He met with health chiefs this week to discuss the matter and said: “I raised the original concerns about this unit’s latest problems and took the opportunity to run through all of the key points.

“By the time it reopens, it will in effect have been closed for 14 weeks, in excess of three months, with all of the inconvenience to the community the closure has meant.

“I hope we will see a full explanation of the problems along with details of the work that has been undertaken to solve matters published.

“There is no doubt that there will have been considerable costs incurred and though I understand the costs should not impact on the public purse there is still cause for concern.”

Endoscopy sessions were suspended at the unit after rust patches appeared on a recently-installed decontamination machine.

It is not the first time the unit has encountered problems.

The facility, which carries out endoscopies and other minor procedures, was meant to be up and running in the summer of 2010 but the project was beset by numerous delays.

Built by Modcon UK in stages in the Middle East, it sat for weeks at Tilbury Docks before it was finally craned into position in Harborough in the spring of 2011.

Work was then halted in May 2011 after Modcon UK went into liquidation.