Patients moved and appointments cancelled: Everything we know about DRI water leak evacuation

Mums and newborn babies had to be transferred to other hospitals and appointments cancelled after a huge water leak caused chaos at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 9:40 am

Fire crews raced to the Women’s Hospital last night and a major incident was declared as beds were evacuated and patients moved to other hospitals across the region as water cascaded through ceilings and floors.

Here’s everything we know about the incident – and what it means for those attending the hospital for appointments.

Six fire crews attended the hospital at 5.15pm last night after smoke was supposedly reported – but South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue confirmed they had not had to put any fires out.

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Doncaster Women's Hospital.

There were also rumours on social media that floors had collapsed – but these also proved to be false.

Last night, David Purdue, chief nurse at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “Due a large water leak within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Doncaster Royal Infirmary we have evacuated the area and safely moved patients. Nobody has been hurt and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are planning to vacate the site.

“As a result, we are carrying out established contingency plans as appropriate, meaning that patients have now been safely and securely relocated into neighbouring wards on site, whilst those receiving care within the Neonatal Unit are being prepared to be escorted via ambulance to other hospitals within the region. For the next few hours we are diverting admissions to our site at Bassetlaw Hospital, as well as nearby providers. Parents, guardians and family will be contacted to let them know what is happening.

This morning, officials at DRI said some services have now been restored, but damage appeared to be ‘quite extensive’ in in affected areas and repairs will begin as soon as possible.

This morning, Mr Purdue said: “At around 5.30pm on Tuesday 27 April, a large water leak occurred within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, unfortunately making contact with some electrical mains. Thankfully, nobody was harmed, and we began to evacuate the building.

“Following established contingency plans, 67 patients were safely and securely relocated to neighbouring wards on site, whilst some of our babies receiving care within the Neonatal Unit were escorted via a specialist service to other hospitals within the region.

“Since this time, power has been safely restored to some sections of the building, and a number of services returned. While a full investigation will take place, the damage looks to be quite extensive in the affected areas, and we will begin repair works as soon as possible. We ask patients to check our website for further updates, as well as any changes to affected appointments and clinics in the coming days.

“Finally, I would like to share my thanks with colleagues who reacted calmly, decisively, and professionally this evening – typifying the very best of the NHS.”

Here’s what it means for patients

All scanning appointments will go ahead as normal.

Antenatal appointments will go ahead as normal.

All routine inpatient and day case procedures cancelled today (28 April), however endoscopy, urgent and cancer work will continue,.

Emergency Departments are operating as normal – if you need urgent and emergency care please attend.