THE Countess of Chester Hospital has explained why it sent patients over the border into Wales following an inquiry by a patient watchdog.
An Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) patient at the Countess of Chester Hospital was asked to go to Deeside Community Hospital at Queensferry even though he normally attended the Countess or Ellesmere Port Hospital.
This was an inconvenience for the patient, who lives in Ellesmere Port, and relies on public transport and so the appointment was rebooked at the town's hospital.
However, without his knowledge the appointment was cancelled and again he was asked to go to Deeside.
The Cheshire West Patient and Public Involvement Forum (PPI) raised concerns its members, the primary care trust itself and the county council scrutiny committee had not been informed about the shifting of services to Wales.
Countess of Chester Hospital spokeswoman Lorna Jones said: 'In January, the hospital opened a new £8.1m outpatient extension which provided our first Renal Dialysis Unit and our first heart treatment centre.
'In addition the new-build has provided a purpose-built Urology Assessment Centre and, for the first time, has brought all Ear, Nose and Throat services together with adult and children's Audiology services.
'The relocation of these services, however, meant that, in the interests of patient care and safety, it was necessary for the Trust to cancel several ENT clinics during December and arrange for patients to attend clinics at the Ellesmere Port Hospital or Deeside Community Hospital.
'We appreciate that these temporary arrangements may have caused some inconvenience for our patients and we are extremely grateful for their forbearance during this period of change.
'The opening of spacious, modern, purpose-built ENT and Audiology outpatient facilities is allowing more clinical procedures to be carried out, and creating capacity to reduce waiting times.'