PART of the new Clitheroe Community Hospital has been closed due to a fault with the flooring – just three months after the £7.8 million building opened.

Ten beds have closed after bosses discovered part of the floor had disbonded and caused the vinyl to bubble, but East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) said no patients have been turned away as a result.

Eric Wright Construction, which built the hospital, said it was ‘working very hard to rectify’ the problem.

Martin Morgan, director of estates and facilities at ELHT, said: “This is clearly unacceptable and poses a trip hazard to patients, staff and visitors.

“Currently 10 beds are out of use on Ribblesdale Ward while work is carried out with the priority to re-open as soon as possible.

“The construction company and the trust have requested an independent investigation by a specialist contractor, who has now inspected the flooring across the whole of the hospital.

“A programme of remedial work is due to begin.”

Patient care has not been affected, he added.

Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said: “This sounds quite worrying given the amount of money that was spent on this building.

“You would think all the relevant checks would be carried out before it opened, to make sure things like this don’t happen.

“I do think the hospital is a fabulous new resource, so this is a shame.”

John Wilson, managing director of Eric Wright Construction, said: “Three months after completing the facility, we became aware of some issues relating to the floor finishes.

“Working closely with our client and professional team, we have discovered a technical issue relating to the screed, which we are now working very hard to rectify.

“This has unfortunately meant the temporary closure of a small number of rooms within the facility however we are phasing the replacement to ensure no impact on patient care.”