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Fife NHS: Power cut in the middle of patient procedure Achi-News

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Fife NHS: Power cut in the middle of patient procedure


Achi news desk-

A summary of the incident – which was reported to the health board’s estates department – states that a staff nurse “arranged for all equipment to be moved to a working socket on a different circuit, allowing the team to finish the case present” while an electrician was contacted.

The theater then “stopped working” and “the rest of the patient list was discussed and changes made”.


Freedom of Information data shows that earlier the same day, leaking water was found in the ceiling opening and built-in light cluster in Theater Five at the same hospital following drops during another treatment.

This patient’s case was also completed before the theater was closed for repairs.

A spokesman for NHS Fife said the leak above the two theaters happened after strong winds damaged the roof.

He said: “The procedures in progress were completed safely and the damaged electrical systems were repaired within 48 hours, meaning that only a minimal number of procedures needed to be rescheduled.”

The details come after Audit Scotland warned that NHS Scotland faces a £1.1 billion maintenance backlog by the end of 2022, including problems with fire safety tests, leaking pipes, and “ inadequate precautions to manage built environment infection risks to patients”.

The revelations from NHS Fife also reveal an incident on December 30 last year when a “pungent smell” in an assisted discharge unit at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy was traced to a dead rat in a doctor’s room.

Days later, on January 2, an “unpleasant smell” also led to the discovery of “black mold” affecting the renal dialysis outpatient unit at the Victoria.

The memo says investigators from Fife’s estates department removed wall panels from a staff changing room and found a leak coming from pipes leading to the dialysis unit and plasterboard which was “water damaged and covered with black mould”.

The Herald: Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, where damage and water leaks in January this year led to the closure of two theaters for repairsQueen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, where damage and water leaks in January this year led to the closure of two theaters for repairs (Image: NHS Fife)

Repairs were made and an emergency meeting was called by the infection control team on January 12.

On January 14, silicone sealant was used “to seal the gap between the wall space on the dialysis side of the wall panel”.

Patients at risk were identified and relocated to a separate dialysis area while repairs were carried out.

A spokesman for NHS Fife said this was done “as a precaution” due to the leak’s proximity to the renal dialysis unit and that it had affected “a small number of immunocompromised patients”.

He added: “NHS Fife has a large estate, and as such it is common to have to carry out repairs and remedial work where emerging issues develop. In such cases, the safety of patients, staff and visitors is our priority.”

The Herald asked each of Scotland’s territorial health boards for details of the 10 most recent building safety incidents recorded with their estates department.

Dozens of cases involved flooding, leaks, storm damage, faulty lifts, broken equipment, tripping hazards, or tiles falling from walls and ceilings – sometimes landing on patients.

However, several were more frightening.

Disclosures by NHS Lanarkshire reveal that a frail elderly patient with a cognitive impairment escaped twice in July 2023 from a secure unit at Stonehouse hospital because the fire door alarm was not working.

On the first occasion, the patient had “reached the main road” outside and was only seen by chance by a member of staff who happened to be arriving for his shift.

Other incidents included a visitor to Wishaw General Hospital holding a TV after it fell off the wall in September last year, and a near miss at Hairmyres University Hospital in July 2023 when a “heavy, sharp and metal” air vent became free from her security. chain and dive from the ceiling in “close proximity” of a patient.

The incident report states that “it would have caused significant damage” if they had been hit.

The Herald: Hairmyres hospital in East Kilbride, where a patient narrowly missed being hit by a falling air ventHairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, where a patient narrowly missed being hit by a falling air vent (Image: Newsquest)

Colin Lauder, director of planning, property and performance at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We take the health and safety of our staff, patients and visitors very seriously.

“Although no individual was harmed, all security incidents are investigated. Any preventative measures identified are being implemented to help avoid any similar incidents in the future.”

Other incidents revealed as a result of FOI include a generator fault in April this year which resulted in ventilation being cut out in both theaters at Balfour hospital in Orkney.

In Forth Valley, flooding from storms in January damaged ophthalmology equipment at Falkirk community hospital, and in September 2023 buckets had to be used to collect water pouring from a ceiling in the medical records department at the Hospital of the Western Isles.

NHS Lothian said new floors had to be installed at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary – a psychiatric facility – in March this year after a fire broke out in a bedroom.

NHS Borders also recorded a “ventilation issue” affecting its A&E on March 11 this year, but gave no further details.

NHS Tayside and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have yet to respond.

As well as the £1.1bn maintenance backlog, NHS Scotland faces potentially huge bills to repair hospitals built using collapse-prone RAAC concrete.

Meanwhile, all new NHS construction projects have been put on hold amid a capital funding crunch.

The Herald: New construction projects, including NHS National Treatment Centers, delayed due to capital budget constraintsNew construction projects, including NHS National Treatment Centers, have been delayed due to capital budget constraints (Image: Getty)

Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson, Jackie Baillie, said: “Reports of dangerous incidents due to tired buildings in our NHS from across Scotland are of great concern and call for immediate government action.

“We cannot have NHS workers and patients working and being treated in unsafe or even dangerous conditions.”

Conservative Scottish health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said the findings were “shocking”.

He added: “Successive SNP health secretaries have allowed the backlog of NHS maintenance to spiral out of control which is only adding to the unbearable strain facing our overburdened health boards.

“Too many vital healthcare sites have been allowed to fall into disrepair and these problems must be tackled urgently.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said that its block grant for capital expenditure is currently forecast to fall by 8.7% by 2027/28 – which equates to a cumulative loss of £1.3bn.

He added: “Our emphasis in the near future will be on tackling the backlog of maintenance and replacement of essential equipment and we have asked health boards to prioritize their backlog maintenance programmes.

“All capital expenditure is now being reviewed and the Deputy First Minister is expected to state the results in the coming weeks.”


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