Brockton Hospital’s opening delayed without a new timeline

webnexttech | Brockton Hospital’s opening delayed without a new timeline

Brockton Hospital, which closed more than a year ago after a catastrophic, 10-alarm fire, will not be reopening this month, as previously announced by operator Signature Healthcare. A new opening date has not been set, the organization said last week. February marked the anniversary of the most serious fire in Brockton’s history, which devastated the building but left no one injured. Signature Healthcare announced then that the hospital should reopen with inpatient services by late spring. Signature Healthcare then pointed to May 2023 as an opening date. In August, supply chain issues delayed the opening further to 2024. Its opening has been pushed back again, the hospital said last Wednesday. Bob Haffey, the president and CEO of Signature Healthcare, told the opening had to be postponed after about 90 percent of the HVAC units for in-patient hospital rooms failed. He said the hospital expected some of the units to be inoperable after more than a year of disuse, but the extent was unanticipated. “I’m hesitant to put a timeline out there, because there’s always these unknowns that will pop up,” Haffey said. “This was an unknown, at least the extent of the damage to the units.” The hospital wasn’t able to test them until electricity was returned to the building, a spokesperson said. Haffey said Signature Healthcare will replace all the units, which will need to be ordered and installed. Brockton Hospital fire leaves gap in emergency care The fire, as well as other upheavals at the region’s hospitals, leaves Brockton residents with just two emergency departments close by. Patients looking for emergency services can go to nearby Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton or to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. The other closest emergency departments are a nearly 45 minute drive away. Both hospitals said earlier this year they have seen a double digit influx of patients, in part due to the fire and other hospital closures across the state. Compass Medical, a chain serving Quincy, Braintree, Easton, East Bridgewater, Middleborough, and Taunton, suddenly closed in 2023. Steward Health Care, another hospital chain, filed for bankruptcy in May and will sell its eight Massachusetts hospitals. Signature has opened urgent care facilities and leased a space at the closed Compass Medical hospital in East Bridgewater to provide some care while Brockton Hospital remains closed. Haffey said Signature Healthcare, which was founded as Brockton Hospital in 1896, is deeply rooted in Brockton. Their “generous” insurance policy ensures their new hospital — with improved emergency services, a specialized unit for mental health patients, and a new surgery center — will stay profitable, he said. “We’re going to come back bigger and stronger than we were before,” Haffey said. “Our commitment to stay in Massachusetts and stay profitable is a strong commitment, one that I think we can fulfill through the insurance company, but also through the group that we’ve established while the hospital’s been closed.”

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