About us

Southend Hospital CEO praise for response to major incident

12 February 2015

Health Care

Sue Hardy, acting chief executive at Southend Hospital, has praised staff for their calmness and dedication to patient safety during Wednesday’s major incident, when a hand grenade was discovered in the heart and chest clinic.

Sue said: "Our staff performed incredibly well under intense pressure during the incident.  Their level-headedness during the incident ensured that patients who had to be evacuated to other areas were moved quickly and efficiently, and patients' care continued to a high standard in other areas of the hospital.

"I would like to thank all staff who were involved for their co-operation and professionalism during the incident, particularly the clinic and security staff who discovered the device and raised the alarm. I'm very proud of the way our staff worked and their quick thinking has been praised by DCI Simon Anslow of Essex Police.

"I also need to thank our patients, visitors and the public for their patience during the unavoidable disruption."

The device that caused the disruption was found at 3.45pm with the incident being stood down at 7.15pm, which saw patients return to their areas and the hospital return to normal operations.

Some patients were sent to Basildon Hospital and emergency patients remained in A&E at Southend.

Jon Findlay, chief operating officer at Southend, added: "The emergency services did a fantastic job and we worked very well with them for the duration of the incident.

"I would like to thank our partners at Basildon Hospital for accepting diverted ambulances from Southend during this.  It was an unprecedented event that required many services to pull together.  I'm obviously very glad that the incident was resolved safely and we were able to return to normal service as quickly as possible."

The police are continuing their investigation regarding the incident and they have confirmed that it was a live hand grenade. Southend Hospital stood down from the major incident at 7.15pm on Wednesday evening and is now running as normal; the hospital will be conducting a multi-agency debrief as part of its major incident handling policy.