�50,000 cost of Welwyn Garden City hospital power cut

A POWER cut at the QE2 Hospital which forced the closure of A&E to blue-light ambulances, cost �50,000 to fix.

As staff battled on caring for patients at the WGC hospital, lights were dimmed and all non-essential plugs were pulled in a bid to take the strain off the electrical supply while repair work was carried out.

When the cable blew, supply to intensive care, half of another ward and the lifts were all cut. Although intensive care was able to cope with a back up generator, emergency cases arriving in A&E could not be moved up to surgery if needed.

Three patients who had already been admitted were stabilised and then transferred to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital for treatment, while the walking wounded continued being looked after by QE2 staff.

The majority of the electrical distribution infrastructure originates from 1963 when the main hospital was opened.

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This power failure is the most serious of three which have occurred in the past two months at the QE2.

At a trust board meeting, due to be held today (Wednesday), a report recommends maintenance checks are carried out more regularly.

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It states: “One measure that has been immediately adopted is for visual inspections to be enhanced with the use of an infra red thermal image camera to identify hot spots.”

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