The Wokingham Paper

RBH power cuts: A&E starting to re-open to ambulances

RBH closure
A power cut at the Royal Berkshire Hospital saw the Battle Block close and patients moved to other parts of the hospital. Picture: Paul King

The accident and emergency department of the Royal Berkshire Hospital is now starting to re-open to ambulances, following a major power cut on Thursday.

The unit and the Battle Block were closed on Friday following a power cut that came after a flood and a fire.

It is understood firefighters were called to the RBH to deal with a small fire in a power supply cupboard in the coronary unit – just hours after crews tackled a flood in the basement following a pipe burst.

Parts of the Royal Berkshire Hospital were in darkness on Friday due to a power cut. Picture: Paul King
Parts of the Royal Berkshire Hospital were in darkness on Friday due to a power cut. Picture: Paul King

The incidents caused major disruption, seeing staff to move patients to different wards and the hospital to ask patients with anything other than life-threatening injuries or conditions to either attend an urgent care centre, walk-in centre or the A&E units at either Wexham Park (Slough), Stoke Mandeville (Aylesbury), Frimley Park (Surrey) or Basingstoke.

The clean-up operation continues and, in a statement issued on Friday evening at 9.30pm, Mary Sherry, Chief Operating Officer for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have completed all necessary patient moves within the hospital due to yesterday’s power outage, resulting in 89 patients safely moved from Battle Block. We are working to restore power with additional temporary generators at some point over the weekend.

“From 9pm [on Friday] evening we started to gradually reopen our A&E to receiving ambulances. The hospital still remains on internal incident alert and is still under extreme pressure.

“We would ask for the public to consider and only attend our A&E if critically ill.

“I would like to extend a very big thank you to all staff within the hospital and also to those who have assisted from South Central Ambulance Services and neighbouring hospitals.”

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