Southend University Hospital steps down from major incident
13 December 2016
At 18.00hrs Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust stepped down from the major incident declared earlier in the day due to a large diesel fuel leak at the Cardigan Building of the hospital. Fumes affected some areas of the hospital resulting in the Maternity Unit and two additional ward areas being evacuated as a precaution.
The Fire Service worked on
site during the incident to ensure patients, visitors and staff
safety at all times. The hospital asked patients and visitors not
to attend the hospital during the incident.
The leak has now been
contained and controlled, although an odour continues to affect
some areas of the Cardigan Building. For this reason, the Trust is
undertaking regular assessments of odour levels in evacuated
patient areas before the decision is taken to return patients to
Neil Rothnie, Medical
Director at Southend University Hospital, said: "Hospital staff and
the Emergency Services responded rapidly to the fuel leak this
afternoon, and worked extremely hard in taking precautionary safety
measures by evacuating patients from some of our wards in the
affected part of the hospital.
"I must emphasise that no
patients, visitors or staff on the hospital site suffered any harm
as a result of the leak."
"We are very grateful to our
neighbouring hospitals across the region, who have accepted both
maternity patients and emergency ambulances while the hospital has
"I am pleased that the
diesel leak is now contained and repaired, and the clean-up process
"While we did have to cancel
appointments this afternoon to enable staff to manage the immediate
issues, I can reassure patients that outpatient appointments will
be back to normal tomorrow and anyone with a scheduled appointment
for a clinic or operation should attend unless they hear from us
"Any pregnant women who
believe they are in labour or need to contact the midwifery team
should call 01702 385261 where the team are answering calls.
"We will provide further
updates when we have additional information, but in the meantime we
would ask patients and members of the public to be patient over the
next few days while we work together towards bringing the hospital
back to a normal service.
"Once again, I would like to
extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved for their hard work
in helping us to manage this incident."