Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 12:14 UK

Power failure hits town hospital

Dialysis sessions at a Shropshire hospital were halted after it was hit by a power cut and its back-up generator system failed.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was without power for about 20 minutes after 1905 BST on Friday but life support systems were kept going by back-up batteries.

Claire Tellis-Doherty, whose father is in the intensive care unit, said there was "panic" when the power cut began.

Central Networks said the fault was due to a bird hitting an overhead cable.

It affected about 50,000 homes and businesses in total but has now been repaired.

'Absolutely shocking'

The hospital said it had drafted in extra staff to assess patients in critical care areas and to check that they were comfortable.

"The power was restored within about 20 minutes and, now that everything is getting back to normal, our next focus will be to understand why the back up power systems didn't immediately kick in and to prevent this happening in future," said Tom Taylor, chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The trust said dialysis sessions were being rescheduled if they were cut short.

Ms Tellis-Doherty said of the power cut: "I think it's absolutely shocking.

"It's frightening - you're nursing your loved ones you feel edgy and nervous and you don't know what's going to happen, but you don't expect alarm bells literally to start ringing through the entire hospital and no generators to apparently kick in."



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