Stoke Mandeville Hospital fire: Damaged ward to remain shut for weeks as cause investigated

Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
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Investigations will continue on Monday into a fire at Stoke Mandeville Hospital that saw 53 patients evacuated early on Saturday.

Ward four on the second floor of the hospital, where the fire started, suffered massive smoke damage and was partially gutted by the blaze.

It is expected to remain closed for the next few weeks as the cause of the fire is investigated.

Other wards have been brought back into action and the hospital has mainly returned to business as usual.

Three patients were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation, one of whom also suffered burns to his hands.

Two other wards were initially hit by smoke and water damage and the remainder of the second floor was also affected by the inferno.

All patients and staff are safe.

Fire officials praised hospital staff for working calmly despite the ‘considerable pressure’ of the incident.

Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said in a statement: “Further to yesterday’s incident at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, staff have worked extremely hard to ensure patients were placed in alternative wards within the hospital and to bring as many of the affected wards back into action as possible.

“We have now stepped down from major incident and have returned to business as usual.

“We would like to thank all our colleagues in the surrounding area for their support this weekend.

“We would like to also specifically thank our staff for their outstanding work this weekend to ensure services were maintained and that patients continued to receive safe, high quality care.

“Their support has really made the difference in being able to get back up and running so quickly.”

Seven fire crews from around Bucks rushed to the scene to tackle the fire, which started at around 4.20am, and were assisted by a command and control unit from Aylesbury.

Up to 40 firefighters used three jet hoses to put out the blaze and were only able to start leaving the scene at 7am. A reinspection was carried out at 10am.

Group Manager Neil Boustred of Bucks Fire and Rescue Service said: “They tackled the fire within very hot, arduous conditions, confining it to the area of origin, while simultaneously assisting the hospital staff to evacuate patients.”

Group Manager Geoff Bottle added: “Firefighters regularly visit the hospital so that in rare situations such as this, they are immediately able to put a plan in place to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

“We undertake a lot of practice and preparation for risks and hazards in our area.

“Plans of the premises, together with access arrangements and possible tactics, are available to crews.”

The hospital contacted patients’ relatives throughout the morning.

It has also asked that, where possible, visitors to wards four, five and seven do not go to the hospital at this point.

Concerned relatives who have not heard from the hospital should call 01296 316189.