Bristol hospital declares critical incident as power cuts cause havoc and force evacuation


Bristol University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust has declared a critical incident amid an emergency that forced an evacuation this afternoon, Friday, May 3. Bristol Royal Infirmary patients were evacuated just before 2pm today after power cuts triggered alarms and caused major problems for staff trying to care for patients.

Outpatients have been urged to not attend hospital until the incident is resolved but it is not clear when this will be. People have been advised to call the non-emergency number 111 if they require urgent medical help.

Back-up generators are being used in some areas and BristolLive understands that intermittent power cuts have meant some patients have had to be moved. Additionally, IT systems are not working in all departments as a result of the power cuts, causing some workers serious difficulties.

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A number of eyewitnesses have told BristolLive that the hospital has suffered a power outage. One said: “Problem with electricity. The power shutdown for a few minutes and after we heard alarm.” Another said: “BRI has been evacuated. Three fire engines on scene.”

Posting to social media platform X, the trust said: “We have declared an internal critical incident due to a power outage affecting a number of our hospitals in Bristol city centre. We are asking the public not to attend our hospitals until the incident is resolved. Please use alternative services in the area. Anyone needing urgent medical help should contact NHS 111.”

Dr Rebecca Maxwell, Interim Chief Medical Officer at UHBW said: “We have declared a critical incident due to a power outage. We aim to have this fully resolved as soon as possible.

“All patients, visitors and colleagues are safe. We ask the public not to attend our Bristol city centre hospitals until the incident is resolved and use alternative services in the area. We thank you for your co-operation."

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