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Patients evacuated in beds last night after Stoke hospital fire

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Patients were evacuated from a hospital in their beds last night, after a fire broke out in the main hospital building of University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust in Staffordshire.

The trust, a major trauma centre and acute provider for the region, declared a major incident and requested people did not attend the accident and emergency department at the Royal Stoke Hospital.

“There was a rush of nurses in and they were telling people to get out”

Dominic Ryles

Six fire engines were sent to the hospital to put out the fire, which started around 6pm.

Photos on social media showed patients in their beds outside the hospital and some were lying on mattresses on the floor.

Paul Bradbury, whose mother was evacuated, said: “Staff worked very well after the evacuation after the fire was discovered.”

He added that the situation was under control.

uhnm fire 3

uhnm fire 3

Source: Paul Bradbury

Patients evacuated after the fire at UHNM

However, another relative shared pictures of patients in their beds queuing in a hospital corridor to leave the building more than an hour after the fire had started.

Dominic Ryles said on Twitter: “Huge fire at North Staffs hospital, patients being evacuated but lack of plan has led to no one being comfortably taken out!”

He told The Mirror that he had been visiting his aunt when the fire started and the alarm sounded.

He said: “Fifteen minutes later, there was a rush of nurses in and they were telling people to get out. We started moving the bed. [My aunt] can’t walk as she has a broken leg.

“As we were taking her out of the ward, it was the ward next to us that had the smoke billowing through doors,” he said. “As we got out into the corridor, it was complete carnage – gridlock of beds trying to get out because the lifts were out of order.”

Consultant Ashish Patwala tweeted: “It’s been a busy evening, all returning to normal patients been brought back into the building. Staff were fantastic.”

In a statement issued last night, the trust said the fire was quickly put out and all patients returned to the main building yesterday evening.

In a further statement issued this morning, the trust said the ”major incident” at Royal Stoke University Hospital was “now stood down”.

“The incident was stood down at 11.15pm last night as patients were returned to their wards,” it said. “This followed a fire in main building at 6pm on Wednesday 7 June 2017.

“The accident and emergency department at Royal Stoke has now reopened, though patients should continue to use the A&E for serious and life-threatening emergencies only,” it noted.

Dr John Oxtoby, the trust’s medical director, said: “I’d like to thank Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service for the swift response to the major incident yesterday.

“I’d also like to thank our neighbouring hospitals, including staff at Haywood Hospital, for all their assistance,” he said.

The trust said patients had been advised to continue to attend their outpatient appointment today unless contacted directly and anyone listed for theatre was told to call the ward before travelling to their appointment.

“We would like to thank all patients, relatives and members of the public for their patience and understanding during the major incident,” it added.

The trust also said it would review its response to the major incident over the coming weeks to “understand what lessons can be learned”.

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