Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital statement as critical incident declared and power outage

A critical incident was declared in Bristol today (Friday, May 3) after a power outage sparked a huge emergency response at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI). The cause of the power outage is still unknown, but it has been confirmed that the power outage was not caused by a collapsed ceiling.

People are being asked not to attend the hospital, as University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said "a power outage" is affecting its hospitals in Bristol city centre. Two areas of the hospital still have no power, but the backup generators are thought to resolve the issue soon. Emergency generators have been brought in to help resolve the issue and technicians are working hard to restore power to the hospital buildings.

It is thought that 13 patients have been moved from one area of the hospital to another because of the power outages. All other hospital patients have not been moved and are being treated in the areas they were already in.

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Just before 2pm this afternoon, a number of patients and staff were evacuated from BRI following a power outage. A number of fire engines and crews were seen at the hospital as the incident unfolded.

Police officers assisted fire crews at the scene as more hospital patients and staff were moved. People have been advised to avoid the hospital while the incident is resolved. Anyone who needs urgent medical attention should call 999.

In a statement, interim chief medical officer at UHBW Dr Rebecca Maxwell said: “We have declared a critical incident due to a power outage. We aim to have this fully resolved as soon as possible. I would like to share with the public that every single patient, visitor and colleagues are safe.

"Our adult emergency department is currently closed to patients but the children's emergency department is open. 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 have an emergency power back-up generator that is supplying a lot of power to the hospital and we're bringing more generators in to support that. One or two areas in the hospital do not have lights at the moment and one of those is part of the adult emergency department which is closed to new patients."

Answering questions, Dr Maxwell added: “So this afternoon there was an electrical fault within a hospital site in Bristol that has affected several areas of our hospital site, and as a result, we declared an internal critical incident.

“Firstly, I would like to assure the public that every single patient, visitor and staff are safe and no one has been injured or hurt during this incident. We're working very closely with our emergency partners to ensure that we can continue to deliver safe healthcare.

“Similarly, we're working with our healthcare partners across the system to ensure that that happens. Our adult emergency department is currently closed to patients. However, our Children's emergency department is open.

“We will assess and transfer patients if appropriate. If it is a life-threatening emergency, I would ask you to dial 999 if you need urgent medical advice, dial 111. We ask all visitors at the present time not to come to the hospital site to visit their relatives, and once again I'd like to assure you that all patients are safe.

“We haven't had to evacuate any patients from the hospital. We have asked the patients attending the outpatient appointments to leave the hospital premises when this happens.

“An electrical fault happened in the hospital and it caused several other electrical faults throughout the hospital. However, at the present moment in time, back up generators have kicked in. And as you can see, we've got more coming to help us.

“So we have an emergency power backup generator that's currently kicked in and supplying a lot of parts of the hospital. We are bringing more generators in to support that there are one or two areas of the hospital that do not have lights at the moment.

“There have been a very few areas that have been in darkness where patients have been looked after. We have moved patients to another area of the hospital where again they've been care for.

“No roof has fallen down. I think a few tiles fell down from a roof. But other than that, I cannot confirm that that was the cause of it. But there definitely has not been a collapse of a roof that has happened in the hospital today.

“We will open the hospital again, but unfortunately, it would be too difficult to speculate when that would be at the moment.

“About 13 inpatient have been moved from one area of the hospital to another. But other than that, all patients are being cared for in the same areas that they were already in.”

A statement from Avon Fire and Rescue said: "We were called to reports of an incident at the Bristol Royal Infirmary at 13:43. Crews from Temple, Bedminster, Southmead, Kingswood, Hicks Gate, Patchway and Avonmouth responded and are currently on the scene.

"Crews are working with the hospital and emergency services colleagues to resolve the incident. Be assured that all patients, visitors and colleagues are safe. The only road closed is Upper Maudlin Street inbound (for motorists travelling towards The Bear Pit Roundabout). We would ask you avoid the area where possible, and follow NHS advice on accessing care."

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police has said: "We were called at around 2.30pm today (Friday 3 May) to support Avon Fire and Rescue Service in responding to a suspected electrical fault at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, on Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol.

"Officers arrived on scene within 10 minutes and are supporting the fire service with road closures. The mounted section and drone units are among our resources in attendance. The only road closed is Upper Maudlin Street inbound (for motorists travelling towards The Bear Pit Roundabout). We are asking that members of the public and motorists avoid the area for the time being."

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