Five wards reopen at Altnagelvin

Published Sunday, 25 November 2012
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Five of the seven wards that were evacuated during a fire at Altnagelvin Hospital in Co Londonderry have returned to normal service.

Five wards reopen at Altnagelvin
Five wards have reopened at the hospital. (© Pacemaker)

Patients have returned to the reopened wards while patients from the remaining two wards are being cared for in other areas of the hospital.

The Western Trust confirmed that some planned surgery will go ahead on Monday but 33 procedures have had to be cancelled.

Patients affected by the cancellations will be contacted directly by hospital staff.

Emergency services are continuing to operate and normal visiting arrangements apply.

A&E Consultant Alan McKinney has said he hoped the hospital would be fully back to normal by Monday or Tuesday.

A total of 120 patients were evacuated on Friday following the blaze which broke out on the top floor of the 11-storey tower block.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, but the chairman of the Western Trust has commented that the building, which is the oldest part of the facility had been a known fire risk.

Staff from the hospital, ambulance, fire and rescue service, Translink and other volunteers have all been praised for their handling of the major incident and relocation of patients.

SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has said action must be taken to address safety concerns surrounding the building after a separate fire occurred there earlier in the month.

Hospital management have previously submitted proposals to the department of Health to make the facility safer.

Anyone with queries are now asked to contact Altnagelvin's switchboard on 028 7134 5171, as the dedicated helpline has now closed.

© UTV News
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