Overheating in hospital wards (FOI)
Overheating in hospital wards (FOI) Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 24 October 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
During June, July and August 2022, on which dates was a temperature of 26c or more recorded on any of the wards at Jersey General Hospital? Please could the answer include the number of areas within the Hospital that were affected each day.
On the occasions above, what risk assessment was carried out regarding the safety of patients and staff, and what action was taken to achieve improvements? Were any items of routine business affected eg by the cancellation of scheduled clinics or operations?
During 2022, what was the highest temperature recorded within the General Hospital? In which area was this temperature recorded, and on what date?
How did the number of occurrences of 'overheating' (26c or higher) in 2022 compare with summers in recent years? Please could the answer include comparative data for each of the past five years if possible.
Inpatient ward environments are all naturally ventilated. The Health and Community Services (HCS) Engineering Team do not record the ambient temperature of inpatient wards. As HCS do not hold a central record of site temperatures, it is not possible to provide this information for 2022 or comparative data for the past five years and Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
HCS Engineering have an element of controlled set points, managed on the Building Management System. These areas of specialist mechanical ventilation are in particular clinical areas, such as treatment rooms, surgical theatres, isolation rooms, the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) and Maternity Unit. The temperature of these environments can be programmed and managed, for example, a surgical theatre will be controlled to 18 degrees Celsius.
To reduce the impact of the high temperatures experienced in the summer of 2022 on patients and staff, fans were made available and freestanding air-conditioning units were installed where it was clinically safe to do so. Ice-creams, ice cubes and chilled drinks were made available to patients and staff. Uniform requirements were also reviewed and, where possible, relaxed. Guidance based on the Health and Safety Executive, Health and Safety Inspectorate, and National Health Service releases was circulated to all staff through eBriefings and the staff intranet.
There were no medical cancellations associated with the high temperatures experienced through the period June 2022 to August 2022. A mechanical failure in the air handling system of one operating theatre on the Day Surgery Unit did require minimal rescheduling of surgical cases, but no cancellations. The high temperatures were considered a contributing factor in the mechanical failure.
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