Broken heating leaves hospital wards freezing

UNHEATED Elmleigh Hospital's heating system has broken down
UNHEATED Elmleigh Hospital's heating system has broken down

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PATIENTS at a mental health hospital have been left shivering for more than a week after the heating system broke down.

There are 30 residents with acute mental health problems at Elmleigh, in Havant.

The hospital, in New Lane, has underfloor heating and the boiler, as well as the back-up boiler, broke last Wednesday.

One patient, who did not want to be named, said: ‘All the bedrooms are absolutely freezing cold. There are four little convector heaters to heat the whole place.

‘We’re not allowed hot water bottles because of the health and safety risk so instead we’ve been given extra blankets. Some have got eight on their beds and residents are still cold because there are no carpets to keep the heat in.

‘There are a couple of elderly people in here who are very anxious. I don’t think it’s good for people. The staff in particular are really suffering because the temperature plummets at night. I’m sure they should not be working in these conditions.’

Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust says engineers are working on it.

James Stevenson, a spokesman for the trust, said: ‘The staff at Elmleigh have been doing everything they can to make patients and people there comfortable.

‘They have provided extra blankets and nobody is at risk. Part of the difficulty has been that we have had to call in an engineer for one part of the system from Portsmouth and another engineer from our estate to work together because of the computer control element and the nuts and bolts.

‘We’re hoping to get it sorted as soon as possible. It’s not comfortable at the moment but it’s not going to affect patients’ health.’