ON Tuesday, The Northern Echo revealed that County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is consulting on the closure of Bishop Auckland Hospital’s ward six. The news prompted fears for the future of the hospital if the 24-bed ward which looks after patients who no longer require doctor care but are not ready to go home, does close. Here are a selection of more than 100 comments posted by readers on The Northern Echo website and Facebook pages.

eldon laner

Surely with the hundreds of new houses being built in the Bishop Auckland area and hundreds of people moving into the area from throughout the country, more beds will be required. Will Helen Goodman MP raise this in the House Of Commons to halt this closure forthwith? Move swiftly Mrs Goodman, do your business for our area.

Andy from Banchory

This is shocking news. Many new houses have been built with more to follow, so there will be many more people moving to this area. This is a modern building. There is a need for a major campaign to save these vital services. A campaign should be started online. All local MPs must work with the communities that will be affected by this to ensure these vital services are saved.


This ward provides a vital service for patients who through no fault of their own are unable to return home on discharge from hospital. The fact that the ward normally has a waiting list speaks of its importance in the locality. Unfortunately I fear the decision has already been made.


Oh flipping fantastic. So you're going to take away a much-needed ward that ultimately will back up all the other wards at our other trust hospitals. Without ward six patients will be left in beds on other wards which will mean that those wards won't have the beds to take patients! This will leave patients who need admitting stuck in A&E.


It's time the local MP made it her full time job to save Bishop Auckland Hospital. It's an absolute disgrace. This is how stupid Question Time is, when that was at Bishop Auckland no one even mentioned the hospital. All you hear is Brexit, the real matters now are just ignored.

MP Helen Goodman, who is hosting a public meeting to discuss the future of Bishop Auckland Hospital (52372877)MP Helen Goodman, who is hosting a public meeting to discuss the future of Bishop Auckland Hospital (52372877)

Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman


You're wasting your time complaining. In Catterick we had a full military hospital with fantastic intensive care and maternity unit and knowing the population would more than double it was closed down and demolished. Although mainly military, it was open to everyone. Now people in the Dales have to give up a day for hospital visits.


Darlington & Durham hospitals are bursting at the seams. Bishop hospital, relatively new and built for purpose, has wards empty, the A&E shut and the 24 hour urgent care centre no longer available. It's a disgrace.


The big, white, elephant that Labour spent all that money on using PFI, that hasn't been used properly since it was built. Was really worth knocking the old one down wasn't it?


We are treated like fools – millions and millions are being spent in the Market Place yet we cannot keep a ward open that would help so many local patients. .

However we know that we all need a Spanish Art Gallery and a huge structure that resembles a nose hair remover. Mad world indeed.


Absolute disgrace, best hospital by a mile in County Durham. This hospital is going to end up in the hands of private health care company.

Amanda Ashworth Hill

I had to wait three hours three weeks ago for an ambulance to Darlington. I have mobility problems and I don't drive or have family up here. Then I waited five hours to be seen. £30 for a taxi home at 2am....my mobility scooter won't go on the bus so its a nightmare and costly to get there.

The Northern Echo:

Darlington Memorial Hospital

Duncan Sams

Doesn't make sense to me. No beds available in some hospitals and closing one with loads of empty beds. Oh it's because there's no staff. And who's faults that?

Anna Sperring

Seems ridiculous that such a modern hospital should be laid to waste. Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area is big enough to need the facilities – patients should not have to be transferred to Durham or Darlington to receive care. Disgraceful. My father would have been devastated by this.

John Moore

As someone who use to work on ward six it's a vital service to prevent bed blocking at the already stretched acute sites. With this closure, people will be sent home when too ill or people in A&E will be sent home as there is no beds on the wards. Madness when they closed it in the first place and used it as a community hospital but this too far!

Sara Hawkins

Why have a hospital standing doing nothing? Durham and Darlington can’t cope. Use this building as it was intended in the first place. How about give to our hospital instead of sending billions in aid to other countries?

Edwina Hall

You really need to fight hard to keep this open. I live less than a five minute drive from Shotley Bridge hospital, they first closed A&E and now are systematically closing the rest of it. The land is sold and new houses are being built on the site. Now we have to travel to either Durham, Hexham or Newcastle for even minor injuries.

Jack JC

On the same day Theresa May announces the end of austerity we face yet another disruption at our hospital. Don't let the wool be pulled over your eyes, local politicians want to support this hospital, but this decision is not theirs. The impact of funding cuts put NHS trusts in difficult positions which lead to the cuts. What we must do now is campaign as hard as we can to save the ward and try to impede any further cuts to our hospital.

Diane Clark

All the money spent to build this, and all the other local hospitals are on there knees. I just don’t understand why. We need this hospital to stay open.

Gillian Hopps

I’m not the only person to notice that the building is eerily deserted. Surely it could be put to better use to take the pressure off wretched Dryburn?

Daniel Walker

Ridiculous. The A&E already gone now this. It's a lovely hospital with friendly staff, stop this madness

Patricia Thomas

Bad news as this ward is necessary for overspill of recuperation patients from other busy hospitals.

What are your views on Bishop Auckland Hospital?

What are your views on Bishop Auckland Hospital?

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