Major incident at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as power cut hits maternity and childrens wards
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Four wards in the women’s and children’s unit have lost power after the basement flooded and affected the electricity supply, with expectant mothers and newborns moved to different sections of the hospital.
The maternity ward, including the special care baby unit, remain affected after the back-up generator reportedly failed to start and left medical machines unable to function.
Expectant mothers, babies and other affected patients have been moved to available beds elsewhere in the hospital, including an already overwhelmed day surgery ward.
The hospital says all patients and babies are ‘safe and well’ and continue to receive appropriate care.
It is believed the power outage was caused by an overspill of sewage which came into contact with the electrical distribution board for a large section of the hospital following heavy rainfall last night.
It has left a number of wards with a complete power outage, including the delivery suite and special care baby unit which have been moved to the day surgery unit for safety.
The incidednt has led to cancellations of appointments including scans and elective surgeries, as well as affecting those women due to attend hospital for elective births.
Other wards, including haematology and endocrinology, are also reported to have lost power and patients moved to other wards.
It has put the hospital under significant pressure and the Vic is urging people to avoid attending its Emergency Department unless absolutely necessary.
‘Major incident’ says hospital boss
A ‘Major Incident Level 2’ has been declared by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals boss.
Chief executive Trish Armstrong-Child said: “Overnight, the basement of the Women’s and Children’s Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital experienced severe flooding.
"This has led to a loss of power and network access to the entire building.
“We have received support from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to reduce the localised flooding, but further work is required today to clear the area of standing water.
“Due to this incident, we have contacted patients to rearrange their elective surgery where necessary. If you haven’t been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.
“Outpatient activity due to take place in the Women’s and Children’s Unit is being individually risk assessed and where appropriate diverted.
"We have contacted patients to cancel or rearrange their appointment as necessary. If you haven’t been contacted, please attend your appointment as normal.
“Please be assured that all patients within the hospital are safe and continue to receive appropriate care.
“The hospital’s urgent care pathway is also currently under a lot of pressure. We are appealing to our communities to think before attending our Emergency Department and to use NHS111 for advice and guidance.
“Colleagues from across the executive and senior leadership teams are working closely together and with our partners in the wider care community to ensure the Trust remains focused on this important work and I’d like to thank everyone for their ongoing efforts.”
“Scenes of complete chaos”, says dad-to-be
One father-to-be, Damian Vanner, described scenes of ‘complete chaos’ on the maternity ward as his pregnant wife was evacauted shortly after going into induced labour.
"On entering the ward this morning it looked like a major crisis,” said Damian, from Blackpool.
“My partner has had to make a very uncomfortable evacuation from the maternity ward and move to an already overwhelmed day surgery ward.
“After speaking with staff and overhearing rushed working contractors, the conclusion appears to be that an overspill of sewage has come into contact with the electrical distribution board for a large section of the hospital.
"It just looked like complete chaos.”