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‘Sinkhole’ subsidence statement issued by Watford General Hospital

Emergency repairs are taking place on water supply pipes that caused the 2m by 1m sinkhole at Watford General Hospital

Following a leak which has led to part of the road collapsing outside the Princess Michael of Kent (PMoK) main clinical building on (Sunday). (article)

The road surface has been affected by an underground leak from the old mains water pipe that supplies PMoK and some other blocks on the site.

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Temporary pumping Station in place.

Excess water has been pumped out, the leak is under control and supply will be temporarily turned off to allow a repair, with water continuing to be supplied to the hospital.

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Drinking Water Tankers

Back up water supplies will be provided when the repair takes place.

The timing of this has not yet been confirmed.

Chief strategy officer Clare Parker said: “Our excellent estates team really have their work cut out with issues like this occurring far too often. This latest problem is yet another indication of how urgently we need investment for a new hospital on land next to Watford General Hospital.

“Much of our pipework – like so much of our infrastructure – dates from the 1960s and is now at the end of its life. Our concern is that the age and condition of our buildings means that more disruption will follow from other systems which are now at risk of failing.

“We are continuing to press the case for funding for a new hospital building at Watford and we believe this is a far better way to spend public money than continuing to patch up failing infrastructure . There is only so much we can do to keep our ageing estate in good working order, despite our diligence and best efforts.”

She added: “We would like to thank patients and visitors in advance and apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we continue our work to resolve this issue and make our site safe.”

The proposed redevelopment of West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s estate is to update and replace hospital buildings as well as improve how the trust delivers hospital care for people in west Hertfordshire. At Watford General Hospital the trust proposes to move all clinical services into new buildings on land next to the current site as well as carrying out extensive refurbishment with some new build at its hospitals in Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.

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