Bishop Auckland Hospital is a small NHSdistrict general hospital serving the western part of County Durham, with a primarily rural catchment area centred on the Wear Valley. It was opened in 2002 and then had around 286 beds, but this number has since been cut substantially. There has been much controversy over the recent 'decline of services' in this hospital . The hospital is part of the County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust.
The issue which made much controversy was the loss of the special care baby unit (SCBU)Special care babies are now cared for at Darlington Memorial Hospital,Ward 3 (Haematology) was also closed down, and surgical beds were greatly cut, so that now only relatively minor surgical procedures are carried out at the hospital.