Major incident at Welwyn Garden City hospital

A MAJOR incident was declared at the QE2 Hospital last night and the Accident and Emergency department closed to blue light ambulances.

The announcement was made due to a power cut at the WGC hospital which meant back-up generators were needed yesterday (Wednesday).

Hospital spokesman Peter Gibson said: “The parts of the hospital affected were its intensive care unit, parts of a ward and the QE2’s radiology service.

“The power problems also affected the main lift systems, including those used for moving patients around the hospital.

“All of the clinical areas affected were switched rapidly to the hospital’s back-up electricity supply.

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“This ensured that the care of patients was not affected, although the lifts remained out of action for safety reasons.”

Following discussions between the East and North Herts NHS Trust, the local primary care trust and ambulance service, it was agreed that a major incident should be declared.

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This decision enabled blue light ambulances to be diverted to nearby hospitals.

Mr Gibson said: “This action was taken because of the potential risk posed to patients who might arrive at the QE2’s A&E requiring rapid transfer to and between the hospital’s operating theatres and intensive care unit when the lifts could not be used.

“These arrangements were stood down following the resolution of the electricity supply problems by the Trust’s engineers.

“The QE2 was taken off major incident status at midnight on January 5.”

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