UPDATE: Work continues to clean up Worthing Hospital flooding

SEVERAL lifts are out-of-order as work continues to clean up 30cm of flooding in Worthing Hospital’s basement following heavy rain overnight.

Monday, 11th June 2012, 1:16 pm

However, while this is causing some disruption, a spokesman from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates the hospital, said three lifts were still in action, enabling emergency patients and kit to be moved around the building.

The hospital said this afternoon (Monday, June 11) that all patients were safe and dry, but that as a precaution all overnight emergency cases had been diverted to Brighton or Chichester.

The main areas affected by the water are the Postgraduate Medical Centre, library, doctors’ mess, the basements of the north and east wings and the mortuary.

A spokesman said contingency plans had been implemented to ensure key services in the affected areas continued to operate, and that there had been no problem keeping bodies in the mortuary properly and safely stored, with their dignity maintained.

He added additional flood defences had been put in place in anticipation of further heavy rainfall forecast for this afternoon.

Jeannie Baumann, director of clinical services, women and children’s health, said: “Our staff are still working hard to clear the affected areas but the hospital continues to operate normally.”

On the Herald’s website, some people criticised the hospital for not putting up its flood defences early enough, as our video shows firefighters installing them post-flooding. But the spokesman said most of the flooding had been caused by water “bubbling up” from the overwhelmed drainage system, for which the defences would not have worked.

He also added the defences only related to a small, non-clincal part of the hospital, mainly the medical education centre.

A spokeswoman from Southern Water confirmed its staff were still on the site to help pump the remaining water away, adding: “Extra pumps and tankers have been dispatched to the site and are pumping away the flood water and reducing the water levels in the sewers.

“Our priority is to help the hospital deal with incident, so the services affected can return to normal and we’re working with the fire brigade to do this.”