UHS power failure incident - additional information

Further to the public statements issued yesterday (Wednesday) concerning a major incident at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, we have provided the following additional information.

As the incident relating to power failure in the central and eastern parts of the trust site was resolved on the day, we were able to resume normal activity today (Thursday).

We believe the issue was caused by a failed high voltage underground cable under tarmac which had not previously shown any cause for concern.

We will now complete a full investigation and, as part of this, have had specialist contractors on site to access the cable so we can inspect it.

As a result of overheating related to a transformer on a back-up system for a small area of our emergency lighting which activated when the mains supply was unavailable, some smoke was emitted and the situation was monitored by the fire service and our estates team.

Patients remained safe and cared for appropriately throughout the duration of the power failure.

During the course of the day, 26 ambulances were diverted to neighbouring hospitals and 99 planned operations did not go ahead as our focus was ensuring the safety of patients already admitted to our hospitals.

A large number of outpatient appointments were cancelled as a result of the incident, although some clinics did go ahead, so we are currently reviewing how many patients were seen and those who were not so we can rebook them as quickly as possible.

Posted on Thursday 29 November 2018