The A&E department at Lincoln County Hospital is now back open after a suspected arson attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning forced its closure.
Patients and staff were evacuated after a fire in interventional radiology room at around 3am on Tuesday, March 29.
The incident resulted in United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) declaring a ‘major incident’, but this has now been stood down.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the fire, but the treatment room was “completely gutted” and A&E and the Urgent Treatment Centre were temporarily closed.
Police have now charged John Gillion Watson, of Vicarage Court in Sleaford, with arson and recklessly endangering life. He appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 30 and was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing set for April 27.
The accident and emergency department started to accept a small number of emergency ambulances on Wednesday, but as of Thursday, March 31 it is now open to all patients, with the hospital expecting to receive mobile CT and MRI scanners soon.
The fire resulted in extensive damage to the hospital’s interventional radiology sterile procedures room, with further damage to the x-ray, CT, and MRI imaging suites.
Andrew Morgan, chief executive at ULHT, said: “A massive thank you to all of our colleagues who have worked around the clock to clean and restore all areas of the emergency and diagnostic departments so that we have been able to reopen as soon as possible after the fire.
“The trust are in the process of receiving two mobile CT scanners and a mobile MRI scanner in order to be able to return services back to normal at Lincoln County Hospital.
“We would also like to thank Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lincolnshire Police and all of our partner organisations for their continued support and assistance. We also appreciate the understanding and support shown by our patients and the people of Lincolnshire.”
He added that the trust continues to offer its full support to the ongoing police and fire investigation.
Advice to patients
- Patients who were due to attend Lincoln County Hospital for a scanning appointment today (x-ray, CT, or MRI) are asked not to attend. Those affected will be contacted directly and may be offered appointments at other hospitals so that the scans can be done as soon as possible. Radiotherapy remains unaffected
- Outpatient appointments are going ahead with a small number of exceptions. Patients will be contacted directly and their appointments rearranged where this is the case. Any patients who were unable to attend their appointments in the last few days will also be contacted to have these rearranged
- It is advised to be aware that all trust sites are still under extreme pressure due to COVID-19.
Lincoln hospital fire coverage:
- Fire closes Lincoln County Hospital A&E
- Severe damage caused to treatment room in Lincoln A&E fire
- “Everything is black”: Treatment room ‘completely gutted’ in Lincoln hospital fire
- Man arrested over arson at Lincoln County Hospital A&E
- Reduced Lincoln Urgent Treatment Centre reopens after fire
- Man charged with arson over Lincoln hospital fire
- Lincoln A&E remains closed to walk-ins after fire