Sewage pipes burst again at hospital maternity unit


For the second time in a month raw sewage has destroyed the same part of Craigavon Hospital’s Maternity Unit.

Leaking pipes in an office and reception area at the Outpatient department swamped the room with sewage.

New carpets which had been laid just weeks ago after the last incident were destroyed.

Last month after a number of sewage problems at the hospital health chiefs apologised.

However despite a catalogue of incidents dating back more than a year, still the problems continue.

In April last year raw sewage spilled from pipes into side wards in 1 North with staff having to spend seven hours cleaning up the mess while patients wore masks.

And in a number of incidents over the past couple of months, sewage pipes burst in the maternity area. Eyewitnesses have spoken of seeing human waste streaming down windows and doors.

A Southern Trust spokesperson said: “There was an incident recently involving leaks from pipes in an office and reception area within the Maternity Outpatient Department at Craigavon Area Hospital.

“No patients were affected as all outpatient clinics had finished for the day.

“Specialist contractors were called in immediately to fix the problem and a thorough clean-up was carried out by specialist cleaning contractors. Trust domestic teams also completed a full terminal clean of the areas affected. There have been ongoing issues with blocked sewers in the hospital, mainly caused by the flushing of inappropriate sanitary items such as wipes, nappies and J cloths, down toilets.

“This is despite signage and other communications asking people using the hospital not to flush these items down toilets.

“We are currently in the process of replacing pipe fittings in the hospital with new fittings (which are more effective). This will include the Maternity Unit.

“We appeal to everyone using our hospitals to help us look after our facilities by using the bins provided rather than flushing inappropriate sanitary items down toilets.”