Fire-struck hospital to reopen entrance

The new entrance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
The new entrance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
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A HOSPITAL which saw its main entrance destroyed by fire is ready to open the rebuilt modern facility, just 10 months after the disaster.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s new reception and lobby will open to outpatients on Tuesday, transformed into a ‘warm, friendly and relaxing environment’, managers say.

Chris Tann, the hospital’s head of estates, said: “It’s been quite a journey for us and to see the entrance better than it’s ever looked is just fantastic.”

The fire was sparked by an electrical fault in a drinks machine on the evening of Saturday, June 25, last year.

The blaze burned at a temperature of more than 900C at its height and took firefighters more than three hours to bring under control.

The changes have seen the reception desk moved back, improvements to the auto booking system, a lighter ceiling and floor and a bigger shop.

Red seating will replace the old lime green chairs and additional safety features include the installation of a sprinkler system and automatic fire shutters.

Mr Tann said: “The fire left us with areas that were unsafe structurally with regards to electrical and water services and of course extensive smoke damage.

“This meant there was a great deal of preparatory work and assessments before we could even consider the re-build.

“Property firm Styles and Wood came in at the beginning of November and worked day and night for six months to get us to this stage and they’ve done a magnificent job.”

Gavin Boyle, hospital chief executive, said: “The main entrance strikes the right balance in creating a professional environment that is, at the same time, warm and welcoming.

“I wasn’t here at the time of the fire but the way people got on with things without cancelling a single outpatient appointment epitomises the spirit I’ve come to know since arriving here.”