Air conditioning woe at Sheffield hospital

Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital
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Patients and staff endured ‘stifling’ conditions on some of the hottest days of the year when the air conditioning broke on a Sheffield hospital ward.

People staying on neurosurgery ward N2 at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital had a three-day wait for repairs after the system stopped working - meaning temperatures inside soared in the hot weather.

Patient Gillian Woodward, aged 57, who was admitted to the ward while waiting to undergo surgery, said nurses were also unable to open windows as N2 is on one of the Hallamshire’s highest floors.

Instead the hospital provided electric fans which were placed around the ward, which is divided into bays.

But Mrs Woodward, from Gleadless Townend, added: “They brought only one fan for every six people, so the air was stale.

“How can you ask people to come in and have an operation, and expect them not to get bugs and ailments when it is so hot?”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, which runs the Hallamshire, has issued an apology and said the air conditioning is now up and running again.

Mrs Woodward said she needed treatment to free a trapped nerve in her neck caused by the condition cervical spondylosis.

“The air conditioning wasn’t working on Saturday and it was very hot then.

“The temperature has been 26 and 28 degrees - like a sauna. The temperature goes up because you can’t open the windows with it being so high up.

“The nurses weren’t happy about it, they were complaining. It was stifling.”

Mick Wareing, head of estates at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the problem with the ventilation system had been mended.

“We have now resolved a problem with the air conditioning that was affecting one of our wards,” he said.

“The staff on the ward ensured the area was kept as cool as possible during the time it took to fix the fault but we apologise for any discomfort that was caused.”