Flooding - Gloucestershire PCT Update 10pm

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Flooding - Gloucestershire PCT Update 10pm

The PCT is currently in talks with Severn Trent Water to ensure that key health facilities such as Hospitals and Health Centres continue to have access to water supplies following the flooding at the Mythe Water Treatment works in Tewkesbury.

Severn Trent Water has been arranging for bowsers (or mini water tankers) to be delivered to sites across the county so that customers can continue to have access to water.

The following public health advice has been issued:

Bowsers tank water is drinking quality water when the tanker first arrives at site.

When collecting bowser water collect it in a safe clean container that has been cleaned out beforehand and stored safely to prevent any contamination.

Wherever possible, as a precautionary measure, bowser water should be boiled before use.

Please be a good neighbour and check on the elderly and vulnerable to make sure they have access to bowser water or bottled water supplies.

Ensure that you drink enough water to keep hydrated. Either drink the bottled water provided or drink boiled bowser water.

Boiled bowser water is the best option for bottle-fed babies; bottled water can be used as an alternative. It is important to keep babies hydrated, so as a third option, unboiled bowser water can be used.

Bowser water can be used to flush the toilet after use, you do not need to boil the water beforehand to do this. Remember to wash your hands after using the toilet using bowser water.

Although the health risks are very low, if possible, floodwater should be avoided at all times.

If people have to deal with floodwater, they should try and protect themselves with adequate protective clothing. At the very least, this should include suitable gloves. Ideally, people should use overalls and wellington boots and goggles if available. Children should avoid playing in flooded areas.

Good hand hygiene is essential. It is vital that people who have been exposed to floodwater wash their hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food.

Further information is available from the Health Protection Agency website at: www.hpa.org.uk/flooding/guidance.htm

Although they are not expecting any immediate difficulties with power and water supplies, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has taken the precautionary step of cancelling non-urgent surgery (elective surgery) and routine endoscopy at both Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester and Cheltenham General Hospital for tomorrow. Patients are now being contacted.

Non urgent surgery includes routine procedures e.g. hernias, varicose veins and joint replacements.

Arrangements are also being made to provide renal dialysis services at Birmingham for patients who usually receive treatment at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on both Monday and Tuesday.

Tim Tomlinson, Director of Service Delivery (Surgical Services) at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

"Our patients are our top priority and we are not leaving anything to chance. It is right to take these precautionary steps to ensure that patients in urgent need continue to get the dedicated care they need."

"We do recognise that these measures will result in some inconvenience for a number of our patients, but we hope they understand why they are necessary."

A full range of urgent and emergency care services will continue to be provided at both hospitals.

The NHS is asking people to only call 999 in an emergency so that patients in the most urgent need of medical help, such as those with life threatening conditions, can continue to receive timely access to services.

The Out of Hours medical service continues to provide care and treatment for those patients with urgent medical needs who can't wait until their GP surgery re-opens.

Arrangements have been made to co-ordinate medical care for those people currently staying in rest centres in the county.

Posted : 23/07/2007 00:39:43

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