Firefighters worked closely with staff

I AM writing regarding the recent fire incident at St Richard’s Hospital, which featured on the front page of last week’s Chichester Observer.

I would like to thank the Sussex Fire and Rescue service for their superb efforts – their response was extremely swift, and their expertise was clear to see.

It is reassuring to know that we have such a professional service to rely on, should they be needed.

The incident did mean that patients needed to be moved out of the hospital’s outpatient area and I would like to thank those patients affected for their understanding.

It goes without saying that the people involved will have new appointment times arranged at the earliest possible opportunity.

It is also worth noting that the fire service commended hospital staff for their handling of the situation – both staff and patients were moved from the affected area and adjacent departments both quickly and in a controlled fashion.

Finally, I would like to reassure everyone that St Richard’s returned to business as usual within less than three hours of the alarm being raised.

The fire was small, and entirely contained within one room, and so there has been no knock-on effect on patients services.

Thank you once again to everyone who helped us to ensure that the matter was dealt with professionally with patient safety and welfare at the forefront.

Paul Hatcher

Director of Facilities and Estates