9 June 2021
As water cascaded down the East electrical riser compromising electrical systems, impacting on six floors of the Women’s and Children’s building of Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Quartzelec, a leading independent engineering service provider with facilities throughout the UK, was onsite and able to instigate temporary supplies as well as get critical systems functional and safe within hours.
The incident, which took place at around 17:30 on Tuesday 27th April, when a water leak on the roof of the Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital Unit flowed down six floors and into the basement. The hospital’s contingency plans were implemented, and nobody was injured, with 67 patients safely relocated to neighbouring on-site wards and some Neonatal Unit babies were transferred to other hospitals within the region.
‘Quite extensive’ damage was caused, mainly on the East side of the building, as water compromised electrical systems and control equipment in a services riser. The Quartzelec team, already on-site delivering the third phase of a HV / LV Infrastructure project, immediately set about isolating systems and implementing temporary supply fixes to safely restore power by re-routing and re-cabling systems; getting the operating theatres and the Ante Natal Unit back functioning within days. Further temporary solutions to re-mobilise the theatre lifts as well as other support systems were also identified, and the longer-term replacement of the damaged LV equipment is now being discussed.
“The support our Estates Team has received so far from Integrated Healthcare Projects and Quartzelec in response to this incident has been brilliant. It’s always very motivating to be able to connect the work we do to the absolutely fantastic work undertaken by our clinical colleagues,” stated Matt Gleadall, Head of Estates at Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals. “The damage looks to be quite extensive in the affected areas. Now the power has been safely restored to some sections of the building and a number of services returned, a full investigation will take place, and we will begin repair works as soon as possible. We are really grateful to the team who worked tirelessly to get facilities back open in such an innovative way.”
Phil Worsnip of VINCI Construction UK, the joint venture partner in IHP (Integrated Healthcare Projects) with Sir Robert McAlpine that is coordinating the ongoing onsite infrastructure renewal project for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added: “Considering the severity of the problem that occurred, the team did an amazing job in responding, particularly in such a short time. The Head of Estates was genuinely delighted at how quickly the team leapt into action and displayed the diligence and dedication to work late into the night and over the Bank Holiday weekend to temporarily re-cable theatres and other essential facilities as well as get the critical Children’s areas back up and running so that clinical teams can continue to treat their patients has been a fantastic effort.”
The Quartzelec team has been working at the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s site, delivering the third phase of an HV and LV infrastructure renewal project since September 2020 and was due to complete this phase at the end of 2021. Now the installation of new LV infrastructure and other remedial works is being discussed.
Joe Ryan, Quartzelec’s Senior Contracts Manager on the project concluded: “We consistently go the extra mile for our customers and being on-site meant we could immediately start addressing the problem and deliver a viable solution to keep the hospital operating. The engineers pulled out all the stops and the ‘can do’ attitude and professionalism displayed by the whole team has been amazing, coming up with innovative, cost effective and speedy solutions. We are now, as part of the IHP team, continuing to complete phase-3 of the works in-hand plus are helping to develop and will deliver the long-term solution to the water damage problem to ensure that safe operation of electrical systems here for the future.”