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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Update - Fire Incident at the Cumberland Infirmary

Update - Fire Incident at the Cumberland Infirmary

Posted on Friday 20th November 2015
Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle

Following yesterday’s incident at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is now working with their PFI partner to repair the damage in the Sterile Services department where a small electrical fire broke out yesterday (Thursday 19 November) and destroyed one steriliser. Nobody was injured during the incident.

It was initially expected that the department would be back up and running by Tuesday after all other sterilisers have been deep-cleaned and smoke damage is repaired, however the extent of the smoke damage means that the department may not reopen until the end of next week.

Services at the hospital are running as normal today with the exception of some elective operations which have had to be postponed. All emergency surgery is taking place as well as some priority elective operations. Elective surgery will now be assessed on a day-to-day basis until the Sterile Services department fully reopens and all patients affected will be kept informed.

The A&E department at the Infirmary is running as normal but the department remains busy so please consider other healthcare options such as calling NHS 111 if it is not an emergency.

The Sterile Services team from the hospital have taken theatre kit to Dumfries Royal Infirmary to be sterilised and will continue to work there over the weekend.

Helen Ray, chief operating officer at the Trust, said: “We would once again like to thank our staff, our PFI partner, Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service and all of our health partners for their fantastic support over the past 24 hours.

“North West Ambulance Service responded immediately yesterday as did NHS Dumfries and Galloway who have very kindly allowed us the use of their Sterile Services department.

“I would like to offer my sincere apologies to any patients who have unfortunately had their procedure postponed today. We will endeavour to maintain as much of a normal service as we can over the coming days and we will ensure patients are kept informed.”