Monday 5th August 2013 – 12.15pm – Murray MacGregor.
Ambulance crews are being diverted away from Stafford Hospital after a fire in the A&E Department closed the unit.
The incident happened at about 9.45am this morning when there was a fire in an extractor fan in the roof of A&E. The fire was quickly brought under control but the department had to be evacuated.
Five ambulances were at the hospital with patients at the time of the fire. Doctors from the hospital assessed the patients on the back of the ambulances. Three were taken straight to wards, but two had to be transferred to University Hospital North Staffordshire (UHNS).
While the unit is closed, ambulance staff will remain on site in case there are any patients that self present and need assistance.
Ambulance crews will operate as they do when the A&E is closed overnight i.e. treating patients at home where appropriate to do so, but transferring patients to other hospitals when required. They will go to UHNS, New Cross, Burton and Walsall.
With the A&E Department likely to remain shut until at least 1.00pm, any patient who was planning to attend Stafford is asked to use another hospital, the Minor Injuries Unit at Cannock Chase Hospital or another part of the NHS such as your GP, NHS Direct or a pharmacist.