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Water leak left hospital respiratory unit 'stinking of damp', patient alleges

PUBLISHED: 11:18 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 27 September 2019

A major water leak in the roof of a Norfolk hospital’s respiratory unit left the ward “stinking of damp” and sick people “exposed to infection”, according to one concerned outpatient. Photo: Submitted

A major water leak in the roof of a Norfolk hospital's respiratory unit left the ward "stinking of damp" and sick people "exposed to infection", according to one concerned outpatient. Photo: Submitted

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A major water leak in the roof of a Norfolk hospital's respiratory unit left the ward "stinking of damp" and sick people "exposed to infection", according to one concerned outpatient.

A major water leak in the roof of a Norfolk hospitals respiratory unit left the ward stinking of damp. Photo: Nick ButcherA major water leak in the roof of a Norfolk hospitals respiratory unit left the ward stinking of damp. Photo: Nick Butcher

Incomplete building works in the roof of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) left the unit exposed to the elements and "rainwater coming through" after heavy rainfall hit the city on Wednesday (September 25).

A hospital spokesperson said issue on the ward, which treats patients for a range of breathing and lung conditions, was due to heavy rain and ongoing works on the roof.

One patient, who asked not to be identified, attended a clinic in the respiratory medical department at 1.30pm on Wednesday, described finding the unit "in chaos" with a "major water leak" going on.

They said: "When I arrived it was chaos. Staff members were rushing around trying to sort lots of things out.

"I was told that the department had a major water leak coming through the ceiling and staff members had to go to many different places.

"It looked abandoned to be honest - 'no entry' signs were up everywhere.

"I was called through for my appointment through doors that were wedged open with cardboard that were fire exits.

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"I had to go through a staff entrance which stank due to the water leak.

"The nearby corridor had water leaking through."

The patient, from Norwich, who attended for a breathing test, added: "Staff said they had leaks and that was due to a new building being put on top and that it hadn't been made waterproof.

"So the rain water was just coming through.

"I think the worst bit is that everyone that goes there has a respiratory problem. The whole place stank of damp.

"We all attend this place to hopefully get better, not worse, and not to be exposed to infection and danger."

A spokesperson for the NNUH said: "As a result of heavy rain and ongoing works on the roof of the East wing of the hospital we had to relocate some of our respiratory outpatient clinics this week to alternative clinic areas.

"Services were unaffected and no appointments were cancelled.

"The majority of our works on the East wing roof are taking place out of hours to reduce disruption."

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