Nurse at Chichester hospital says it was 'pandemonium' as patients diverted from Queen Alexandra Hospital after 'major incident' water leak

A NURSE at a Chichester hospital said it was ‘pandemonium’ after a ‘major diversion’ of patients from Queen Alexandra Hospital following the ‘major’ water leak that caused massive disruption.

By Steve Deeks
Friday, 7th January 2022, 9:31 pm

The Cosham hospital was left struggling to stay afloat as most appointments were cancelled and chaos rained due to what has now been described as ‘infrastructure challenges’.

Patients had been asked to ‘use alternative services’ where possible and only arrive at the Cosham site’s emergency department in life-threatening cases following the major incident that started at 6am.

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Major incident declared at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth after significant water leak on Friday 7 January 2022 Pictured: North entrance with a few people outside

All outpatients and elective procedures - excluding dialysis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and maternity appointments - were cancelled as a result.

Three wards were thought to have been left without water.

The fallout from the dramatic turn of events meant patients from QA had to be diverted to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

A nurse describing the scenes at St Richard’s said: ‘A major diversion to our hospital has sent us into the s***.’

The nurse revealed Covid patients from QA had been transferring to St Richard’s ‘all day’ - with Chichester patients consequently moved elsewhere.

The nurse added: ‘It’s been pandemonium.’

Earlier a spokeswoman for QA, announcing the crisis had been brought under control, said: ‘Early this morning (January 7) we declared a major incident following a significant water leak within clinical areas of the ground floor.

‘The water supply was turned off to a significant portion of our site while the cause was identified and infrastructure challenges rectified. No patients or staff were harmed and we were able to relocate patients safely to other areas of the hospital.

‘Throughout the day we have been working to test the water supply and ensure the areas affected have been fully cleaned and repaired. Due to the success of this work, we are pleased to share we have now been able to stand down the major incident.

‘If you are due to attend the hospital for an appointment or procedure from tomorrow (Saturday January 8) please attend as usual, unless you are otherwise contacted.’

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust chief executive Penny Emerit said: ‘I would like to thank our incredible teams for their hard work in keeping all patients onsite safe and restoring all infrastructure and clinical services.

‘Throughout the incident, we have worked closely with our local health and social care partners, who acted quickly to offer help and support throughout, so we would like to share our thanks with them too.

‘I would also like to thank our local communities for their patience and understanding. We know having an appointment or procedure delayed isn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do given the situation we were in.

‘Please continue attending appointments and we will keep you updated with any news or information from the trust through our website and social media.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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