Investigation Continues Into Hospital Fire

A Winchester hospital's getting back to normal after a major fire swept through part of the site - patients having operations were evacuated on Friday December the 9th.

The blaze at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital started in an MRI and CT scanner building at about 4pm.

The building was away from the main wards of the hospital, but several departments including A&E, intensive care and five operating theatres were evacuated.

Ten fire engines and three vehicles with several aerial ladder platforms fought the "serious fire'', Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

Hampshire Police told motorists to avoid the area of the hospital as the fire caused gridlock in the city at rush hour.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

The emergency department will reopen for minor injuries e.g. cuts, sprains or bruises reopened at 8pm on Saturday night. People with head injuries are still being taken to Southampton or Basingstoke.

All maternity services are running as normal and children's (paediatric) services are available.

Routine surgery will be back to normal for Monday morning, so no operations are expected to be cancelled.

Although scanners are not functioning, x-ray and ultrasound are now available and mobile MRI and CT units are being arranged from Monday morning onwards.

Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare Trust's Chief Executive, Chris Gordon said:

"We continue to work closely with all our partners to ensure normal services are up and running as soon as possible.

"We are thrilled with the support and skills of staff to date which has allowed us to ensure all patients have remained safely on site and services are coming back as soon as possible.

"We would also like to extend our thanks to the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for their support throughout the evening and weekend."

Winchester hospital fire