There are many uncertainties for Lincoln County Hospital following a suspected arson attack which led to severe damage in part of the A&E. The chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals, Andrew Morgan, said: “It’s very hard to be precise about how quickly we can get the A&E back up.”
Many will be wondering what will happen next, as patients have had appointments cancelled and some were even evacuated during the fire. The incident is still is ongoing.
With so many questions, and so little answers on what is going to happen in the next few days, there is bound to be some anxiety around. Here is everything we know about the fire at Lincoln County Hospital.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were called to reports of a fire at the main emergency department around 3.02am on Tuesday, March 29 and A&E was subsequently evacuated with no injuries being reported. Patients with appointments were turned away throughout the day and ambulances were diverted to other hospitals in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Norfolk.
Lincolnshire Police was reported to be at the scene at around 10am. Fire investigators later confirmed that the fire was started with a deliberate ignition and police continue to investigate the circumstances of the incident.
A 57-year-old man was then arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and remains in police custody. A Lincolnshire Police spokesperson appealed for information about the incident.
How much damage is there to the hospital?
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue issued a statement on the fire at Lincoln Hospital, saying that ‘severe damage’ has been done to a treatment room. There is significant smoke and soot damage to areas surrounding the room where the fire started, which has been completely gutted.
That includes MRI and CT scanner areas and parts of the heart centre. Smoke damage has also been done to a corridor next to one of the treatment rooms.
East Midlands Ambulance Service has asked people to make their own way to hospital as it is seeing a high levels of demand. Greg Cox, strategic commander at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “Please help us by only calling 999 if someone’s life is at immediate risk such as not breathing or unconscious.
“Please make your own way to a treatment centre if you’re able to as it means we can use our emergency ambulances with clinicians and life-saving equipment on board for those who really need it.”
Mr Morgan, CEO of ULHT, said he was not sure when A&E would be reopening when speaking to Lincolnshire Live on the day of the incident. It is unknown how long people will be diverted to other hospitals and when normal service will resume.
Follow our live blog for more information on this incident as it happens.