Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton hospitals plunged into darkness by power cut

Corridors
Image caption Hospital corridors were left in darkness after the power cut

Patients were urged not to visit two hospitals for several hours after a power cut following a fire in an electrical room.

Southampton General and Princess Anne maternity hospitals declared a "major incident" at about 10:00 GMT after an "electrical cable fault".

Outpatient care, routine x-rays and blood tests were suspended and A&E was closed to all but "urgent" cases.

The power was fully restored seven hours later.

'Inpatients safe'

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said it was called to the hospital site shortly after 08:40 GMT to a "small fire" in an electrical room.

The power failure affected the emergency generator, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said.

It said: "We were able to keep our inpatients safe through battery back-up of vital equipment."

The NHS trust said theatres and intensive care units had remained open and inpatient care was "unaffected".

Non-urgent operations and appointments would be rescheduled, the NHS trust added.

During the power cut, ambulances were diverted to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and the North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke.

Image caption Louise Hart's son was due to have an operation

Louise Hart was in a children's ward where her son was due to have an operation which was eventually cancelled.

"It's quite calm inside, they're dealing with it all really well and they're keeping all the kids occupied.

"I just worried about all the people in intensive care and things like that," she said.

Keith Cross said he saw crowds of people outside when he and his wife turned up for an appointment.

"It's a shame for them all really. We cancelled our appointment after we'd stood there for a while - they've got enough to do.

"The atmosphere was pretty good - what can you say? We're lucky to have an NHS."

Image caption The hospital asked visitors and people with non-urgent outpatient appointments to stay away

Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, which runs the hospitals in Winchester and Basingstoke, said it had activated its "well-rehearsed major incident plan" and had cancelled all paediatric appointments at Winchester to free up staff.

The trust earlier urged patients not to attend its emergency departments, which were "very busy" because of diverted patients.

It said it had postponed all elective orthopaedic operations due to take place in Winchester on Thursday as a result of the extra pressure on services.

Image caption The hospital's A&E was closed for all non-urgent care

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