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Monday 21st May 2018

Power failure at NHS hospital

20th August 2010

Surgeons were forced to conduct an operation by torchlight after a power failure at an NHS hospital in England.


Official records, revealed under a Freedom of Information Act request, told of how emergency backup generators failed to start after routine power testing exercises left parts of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in darkness.

Power supplies to operating theatres were disrupted and the intensive care unit was affected at the hospital in Gloucester.

Details of how surgeons were left to complete an operation using torches emerged from minutes of a recent hospital board meeting.

The problem – on March 13 this year - arose with the main power failing during a testing exercise and they were made worse when two generators, which required manual starting, failed along with backup battery-powered lights.

The incident happened on a Saturday when few operations were being conducted, though the Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Trust has not revealed what type of surgery was involved or the length of time the power was off.

It has, however, said that lessons were learned from the incident and denied patient safety was compromised.

A spokesman said: “Powered suction only was temporarily lost in ICU, where specialist staff are fully trained to deliver manual suction when required.

“The Board Papers refer to a single patient in an operating theatre at the time of the incident.

The operation itself had been completed and the patient was being closed after surgery.”

The patient was fully informed following the incident but not in any danger, he added.


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Article Information

Title: Power failure at NHS hospital
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 15842
Date Added: 20th Aug 2010


The Telegraph

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