Surgery flooded after pipes burst

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Staff at Ryan Medical Centre reception area after flooding
ALL HANDS ON DECK: Staff at Ryan Medical Centre reception area after flooding

It was all hands to the deck at a South Ribble doctor’s surgery when a burst pipe flooded the practice causing thousands of pounds of damage.

Ryan Medical Centre, on St Mary’s Road, Bamber Bridge, was thrown into chaos after a pipe in one of the consulting rooms froze, then burst, causing flooding to the entire building.

However, thanks to staff rallying together, the medical centre has still been seeing patients, and is now operating at almost full capacity by working out of three temporary cabins.

Patients have praised NHS staff at the centre for the way they have coped with the crisis and say the level of care has not been compromised despite the circumstances.

Julie Howarth, practice manager at Ryan Medical Centre said: “Our cleaner discovered the situation and rang me to say there had been a bit of a flood at the building.

“I went in expecting to see a bit of a puddle near a radiator and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the extent of the damage.

“One of the inlet pipes in a consulting room had frozen and then burst and water had obviously been gushing out for a considerable time as it had flooded the entire building and there was about an inch-and-a-half of water almost everywhere.”

Ryan’s Medical Centre usually has 15 consulting rooms, but only five of the rooms, including the nurse’s room, were able to be used. All the floor coverings at the practice have had to come up and the fixtures and fittings ripped up and replaced.

Ms Howarth said: “We were forced to share consulting rooms and were not able to see as many patients as we would have liked and unfortunately, we had to cancel a lot of appointments, and send some patients to alternative services as we just could not cope with them.

“Patients have been very understanding, and now that we have three temporary cabins to work from as well, we have extra capacity and are pretty much coping with a normal workload.

“The staff were fantastic in the way they all pulled together and many of them came in on weekends and cancelled days off so we could get the place in a usable state.”

The practice will then have to have a three-week drying period before it can be re-built and re-floored before it re-opens properly in around eight weeks.

Susan Brundett, 58, of Bamber Bridge, who has been a patient for more than 30 years, said: “The staff have done a remarkable job and the morale has been wonderful.

“I think they need to be praised for the way they have coped and carried on delivering a fantastic service despite the flooding.”