One of the first-wave diagnostic and treatment centres set up to cut orthopaedic waiting lists has closed due to a lack of patients.

One of the first-wave diagnostic and treatment centres set up to cut orthopaedic waiting lists has closed due to a lack of patients.

Ravenscourt Park Hospital, part of Hammersmith Hospitals trust in west London, started life as a private hospital and was set up as a DTC in 2002. It has treated more than 18,500 patients and helped the trust cut waiting times from 18 months to 4.5 months. This week the trust announced it had decided to close the hospital because it is not taking enough patients to be cost effective.

'It was set up because there was no other way of clearing a waiting-list backlog. The backlog has been cleared so work has dried up - it's a victim of its own success,' a spokesman said.

The hospital needs a throughput of 12,000 patients a year but has only been running at 50 per cent capacity since it reopened as a DTC. During the last financial year it only received 5,000 patients so the trust decided to transfer elective orthopaedic services to Charing Cross Hospital just over a mile away.

The hospital was originally the private Royal Masonic Hospital and later became the Stamford Hospital. It is a grade-two listed art deco building and has a covenant attached, which means that it can only be used for healthcare purposes. 'We are in discussion with the public and private sector as to what new healthcare use the hospital can be put to,' said the spokesman.

Chief executive Derek Smith said that staff from Ravenscourt Park would transfer to Charing Cross or be offered positions at local hospitals.