Worthing hospital patients won’t have to pay for flooding

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WORTHING Hospital has reassured patients that £350,000 of damage caused by flooding will not come out of its budgets for patient care.

In fact, its finance director said because the hospital is insured, it just has to pay the £40,000 excess, which will come out of a contingency fund set aside for emergencies and unforeseen events.

In a board meeting held at the end of last month, members heard the torrential downpours on June 10-11 resulted in contaminated flood water damaging the lift shafts, mortuary, car park, library, doctors’ mess and several other areas in the hospital’s basement.

Board papers showed flood defence systems were installed at the hospital after it suffered significant flooding in 2009, but a lack of a severe enough MET office warning resulted in them not being deployed in time to prevent the deluge.

The hospital, in Lyndhurst Road, is one of the lowest-lying points in the town and is a high-risk flood area, having been built on Teville stream.

It was said it was a one in 25 year flood risk, but has now flooded five times in seven years. As such, it is looking into ways to better protect the building from flooding, including installing additional aluminum flood barriers and replacing timber floors with concrete floors.

In the board papers, it was also said: “The trust needs to undertake a review of the benefit of purchasing a pumped drainage system to avoid delays until Southern Water or West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service attend the hospital with their equipment in the event of an incident.”