Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2003 11:38 UK

Hospitals hit by flood damage

Middlesbrough General Hospital
Emergencies are being diverted from Middlesbrough General
Hospital services on Teesside have been thrown into chaos after flash floods hit the area on Sunday.

Accident and emergency patients at Middlesbrough General Hospital are having to be diverted to trauma centres in Hartlepool and Newcastle after flood water cut off electrical power.

In neighbouring Stockton-on-Tees, the children's ward of the University Hospital of North Tees has been closed and is likely to remain so for at least a week.

Teesside bore the brunt of torrential storms which brought travel chaos and structural damage.

A spokeswoman for South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The A&E department of Middlesbrough General was closed between 1230 BST and 1900 BST on Sunday when the electricity supply to the block was knocked out due to rain water.

"Power was restored for a time overnight, but unfortunately the power is off again because of a short.

"We have generators in there now, but as a precaution we have closed the department and transferred what intensive care patients we have to other areas.

Patients with minor injuries are being encouraged to use alternative health services, such as NHS Direct, to ease pressures on accident and emergency departments
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust
"We have an agreement with ambulances in the area that trauma cases should be taken to hospitals in Hartlepool or Newcastle."

A spokeswoman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust added: "As a result of the torrential weather and storm on Sunday, there has been significant damage caused to the University Hospital of North Tees.

"The children's ward has been closed and is expected to remain so for approximately a week and services relocated to another ward.

"The x-ray department has been affected with the CT and MRI scanners currently out of action.

"Patients needing urgent scans are having them carried out at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

"Some pathology equipment and a theatre has also been damaged. However no operations have been cancelled at this stage.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool has experienced some minor water damage, however, the trust is continuing to assess the full extent of the damages on both hospital sites.

The spokeswoman added: "Patients with minor injuries are being encouraged to use alternative health services, such as NHS Direct, to ease pressures on accident and emergency departments.

"Our staff have been working extremely hard to assess the damage and to ensure that disruption to patient care has been kept to a minimum.

"The Trust has been working closely with staff at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure patients on Teesside have continued access to hospital services during this difficult time."



SEE ALSO
Storms cause flooding and damage
10 Aug 03 |  Merseyside
Woman hit by lightning
10 Aug 03 |  West Midlands
Thousands affected by storms
17 Jun 03 |  England

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