Children evacuated in Lister Hospital blaze

Young patients at Lister Hospital were rushed to safety on Saturday after fire broke out near the children’s ward.

Children as well as visitors and staff in the Bluebell ward were evacuated after a blaze broke out in a corridor shortly before 10.45am.

Firefighters quickly put out the blaze which was blamed on a fault in an electrical panel. A high powered fan was then used to clear the smoke.

The Mulberry Bush unit which houses the ward was shut and 11 children moved to another ward. No-one was hurt in the incident.

As a result of the evacuation, ambulance crews agreed to take children needing A&E care to other hospitals. Staff began receiving children again this morning (Monday).

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The affected ward will not reopen until Wednesday while the panel is repaired and cleaning takes place.

Other areas of the hospital including day surgery and radiology were inspected over the weekend for potential knock on effects. No procedures or appointments were cancelled.

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Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Herts NHS Trust which runs the hospital, thanked all those who responded to the fire and its aftermath.

“I would like to thank publicly our staff and those of the fire service for acting so swiftly and with such professionalism. Our gratitude also goes to the parents of all the children affected by the incident, who were very supportive of the actions taken by our staff.

“The support we received from the local ambulance service and nearby hospitals played an important part in our ability to manage the incident so smoothly.

“The fact that we have been able to ensure that patient care at the Lister, especially for our children, has been able to carry on uninterrupted is a huge tribute to all involved – from our doctors and nurses, through to the estates team.”

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