Barts Trust ends major incident but situation 'critical' at Whipps Cross

Whipps Cross Hospital, Waltham Forest

Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone. - Credit: Alastair Lockhart LDR

Barts Health NHS Trust has downgraded from a major incident, though the situation at Whipps Cross Hospital "remains critical" after last Sunday’s flooding.

The trust made the decision yesterday (July 29) to step down from a major incident, with all emergency services and the maternity unit at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone having been fully restored.

But the hospital is continuing to experience operational pressures, according to the trust, and patients are still being encouraged to use alternative hospitals where possible.

A spokesperson for Barts said: “Whilst we are no longer in a major incident, the situation remains critical as we continue to experience operational issues at Whipps Cross Hospital caused by the heavy rainfall on Sunday. We are working hard to restore services in the affected areas.

“A number of surgical procedures due to take place at Whipps Cross this week will now be provided at other hospitals within the Barts Health group. 

“Outpatient appointments will be held virtually or in alternative buildings, where possible. We are in touch with patients whose appointments are affected.

“We would like to thank patients for their understanding and remind the public to check our visiting arrangements before coming in. Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.”

The heavy rainfall on Sunday, July 25, resulted in serious flooding at Charlie Brown’s roundabout, on the Central line at South Woodford and in residential streets in Clayhall.

At Whipps Cross, it caused damage to some of the hospital buildings and the electrical system, leading to a loss of power.

Collapsed ceiling at Whipps Cross Hospital, Waltham Forest

Collapsed ceiling at Whipps Cross Hospital, Waltham Forest. - Credit: Alastair Lockhart LDR

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A major incident was called across the trust, which moved around 100 inpatients from the affected wards, including to other hospitals within the Barts Health group.

Ambulances were placed on diversion from Whipps Cross to other emergency departments. 

Planned surgeries were cancelled on Monday July 26 and many procedures that were due to take place this week were moved to other hospitals within the Barts Health group. 

Newham Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital also experienced some flooding on Sunday but were quickly restored to full operation.