Montrose Infirmary will reopen in June, health chiefs have announced today.
However, the maternity unit will be opened on the week beginning June 16 but the GP ward will not be.
The infirmary on Bridge Street closed on April 24 after a failure of the heating and water systems, and as a result, a soot-like substance was blown through the hospital’s air filter system, which has proved difficult to remove.
NHS Tayside were waiting for samples to come back from the laboratory, which have are now come back, however health chiefs say a second batch of samples has been sent way for testing.
Dr McGuire, Dr Margaret McGuire nurse director said: “Staff have been working hard over the past few weeks to get the infirmary to the point where it is safe for patients and staff and we can make plans to reopen the hospital.
“I am pleased to say that thanks to their hard work and perseverance to overcome all the associated issues which had arisen following the failure of the water and heating systems, we are now planning to reopen the hospital in the week of June 16.
“There is still some estates work and re-testing to be done with the heating system and water supply but we are confident that we will be able to reopen on a phased basis starting with the opening of the community Maternity Unit.
“Between now and then we will be undertaking risk assessments on the issues which we have been dealing with over the past few weeks and reviewing our business continuity plans to ensure they are as robust as they can be so we can keep providing services to the communities of Montrose.
“As soon as we have a firm date for the opening of the maternity unit we will let everyone know. Our midwives are continuing to care for Montrose new mums and mothers-to-be and therefore they will keep women updated with what is happening.”
Dr Russell continyed: “The reason we are intending to reopen the hospital with the maternity unit and not reopening the GP Ward immediately is that there are very well-evidenced clinical reasons why we would not want to move older patients from Brechin Infirmary where they are settled, back to Montrose Infirmary if it is not absolutely necessary.
“The two Montrose patients currently being cared for in Brechin are being looked after very well by the Montrose team and evidence tells us that it is not in the best interests of patients’ care to move elderly patients from one ward to another ward, and in this case one ward in one hospital to another ward in another hospital.
“Therefore we plan to keep caring for these two patients in Brechin Infirmary and will make a decision regarding inpatients over the coming weeks based on the best interests and the best care experience for the patients.”
An NHS Tayside spokesperson added: “In line with good practice relating to water safety management when a building has been closed for an extended period of time, we undertake sampling to ensure there are no risks associated with the water supply.
“Our first batch of samples are back from the laboratory and we have now sterilised the water system and the second batch of samples have been sent to the laboratory for testing.
“We expect these results in the second week of June but we believe this will not affect our intended opening date in the week of 16 June.