Chemical incident at Harrogate Hospital

8 November 2013

A chemical incident caused a partial evacuation of Harrogate Hospital this morning (8 November 2013)

At around 9:10am a member of staff noticed a container of chemicals giving off some fumes in the outpatient area for endoscopy. They sounded the fire alarm and the fire brigade were called immediately.

The main outpatient areas only was evacuated as a precaution.

The fire service from Harrogate, Knaresborough and the hazardous material team from Acomb removed a 5 litre container of cleaning chemicals – there was no spillage of chemicals.

The hospital is now back to normal operation and people are being asked to turn up to out patient appointments as normal, although there may be some delays. Accident and Emergency is also working as normal.




Phillip Marshall, Director of Workforce and Organisational Developemt, said:

At 9.11am on Friday 8 November 2013 Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust implemented their major incident response procedure. This was following the report of a potentially dangerous incident in our Endoscopy Unit on the ground floor of Harrogate District Hospital. This involved a substance which is used in the decontamination process of clinical equipment used in the Endoscopy Department. The fire service responded immediately and measures were undertaken to ensure the safety of the container storing the substance.

Throughout the incident the Trust was able to maintain all of its Emergency Services. There were minor delays to Outpatients appointments and as a precaution operations were briefly delayed in our Day Surgery Unit.

The substance was removed to a secure part of the hospital site and further measures were taken involving a specialist agency to ensure that it could be safely disposed.

The hospital was fully reopened at 10.30am after safety checks had been made by the Fire Service and the Hospital Estates Team in the Endoscopy Department and surrounding areas.

There were no patients, staff or members of the emergency services injured as a result of the incident.

I am extremely grateful to all of the emergency services and all the Trust staff and members of the public for their response to this incident which enabled it to be handled in a safe and effective manner.




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