Hospitals trust chief thanks staff and patients following Grantham fire

Jan Sobieraj, new chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust EMN-150917-103307001
Jan Sobieraj, new chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust EMN-150917-103307001

The chief executive of the trust that runs Grantham Hospital has thanked staff and patients following the fire that closed wards and A&E last week.

Jan Sobieraj, chief executive of the United Lincolshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said the fire, which struck on Tuesday evening last week, had a small impact as only a few ambulances had to be diverted to other hospitals.

Mr Sobieraj said: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved in dealing with last week’s fire at Grantham and District Hospital. Thank you to all ULHT staff who really pulled together to provide support in the best interest of patients and help restore power to return services back to normal as quickly as possible.

“As it only hosts a minor A&E service the impact was relatively small for seriously ill patients with only a few ambulances being diverted. The quality and safety of patient care is the Trust’s number one priority and this was maintained throughout. Thankfully no staff or patients were harmed and services are now back to normal.”

The fire cut power to several wards, including the intensive care and coronary care units. A total of 25 operations had to be postponed.

The fire started in an electrical switch system following a small flood in the basement.

Phone lines and computer systems were also affected by the fire. A&E could not fully
open until Thursday night.

Mr Sobieraj added: “Fortunately this was the first major incident I have experienced since joining ULHT, but throughout I saw great teamwork and leadership from all staff which shows how well managed we can be in a crisis. Quick decision making and sound judgements whilst remaining calm meant that the situation was handled in the best way possible and in the best interest of patients.

“We would like to thank Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, EMAS and neighbouring hospitals who supported us in keeping our hospital running and were very responsive. Their quick and timely reactions meant that patients we couldn’t safely treat in the hospital at that time were accommodated for.

“Thank you also to the public for their patience during this time. With all their support and understanding, we were able to get Grantham Hospital back up and running and continue to provide the best possible care for our patients.”