Harrogate Hospital evacuated in chemical spill alert

A Yorkshire hospital had to be evacuated yesterday as firefighters dealt with a chemical spill.

Fire crews at Harrogate Hospital

Firefighters were called to Harrogate District Hospital at 8.40am to a chemical spill in the endoscopy ward which triggered the hospital’s major incident response. No patients, staff or members 
of the emergency services 
were injured as a result of the incident.

The hospital was able to maintain emergency services but there were some delays to outpatient appointments and day surgery.

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Phillip Marshall, the hospital’s director of workforce and organisational development, said the incident had involved a “substance which is used in the decontamination process of clinical equipment used in the Endoscopy Department”.

He said: “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 outpatient 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.”

Mr Marshall said the hospital was fully reopened at 10.30am after safety checks had been carried out.