Million-pound toll of hospital’s A&E blaze

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THE main entrance to A&E at one of the region’s major hospitals is likely to take months to reconstruct - at a cost of millions of pounds - following a devastating electrical fire.

All services are now open at Chesterfield Royal Hospital - with some location changes - but the patient reception area to Accident & Emergency has been drastically reduced.

Staff escorts are being employed to help direct patients and visitors. People registered with the hospital’s text messaging service will receive a text to tell them they can still attend appointments.

Current arrangements will see the fracture clinic and orthopaedic out-patients run from Staveley ward, accessed via the visitors’ entrance. Patients are advised to park in car park five or six.

All other out-patients are being directed through a small entrance, next to the usual main entrance.

The trust is still working out arrangements concerning other main entrance services which are due to work from.

Meanwhile, booked admissions and the ambuline patient transport service will be based in the Scarsdale Wing.

The main entrance, which cost over £1 million to develop three years ago, and other affected areas are likely to take several months to repair.

Hospital chiefs have defended a decision not to fit the area with sprinklers, which would not have helped in an electrical fire. Fire doors and shields in the main entrance did help prevent the blaze spreading further, but the trust has said it will discuss the possibility of fitting a sprinkler system when the time comes.

Eric Morton, chief executive, said: “It is a testament to staff that we are up and running less than 48 hours after this tragic event. They have worked incredibly hard to ensure temporary facilities are in place, so patient care is affected as little as possible.

“We know there will be some inconvenience, but we are certain patients appreciate we are operating under very difficult circumstances.

“The Royal is very resilient and our attitude from the start was ‘it’s happened, now let’s sort it’.”