Fears are growing that flooding at hospitals and other NHS sites could become a major public health issue in the years ahead.
There have been 176 flooding incidents at NHS sites across the UK between April 2021 and March 2022 according to research from not-for-profit organisation Round Our Way which shares stories about the impact climate change has on communities.
The two worst affected areas are the east of England area with 63 flooding incidents, followed by London with 52.
According to the Round Our Way analysis the worst affected NHS sites were Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust with 30 incidents; Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Essex, with 27 and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust, London, with 14.
Flash flooding can be worse in summer and in 2021 London was hit by two catastrophic floods in just five days on July 12 and July 17.
Parts of the capital were deluged with more than a month’s rainfall in just a couple of hours which made many people homeless as their homes were so badly flooded with floodwater and even sewage backing up through the drains. The floods also shut 30 underground station and led to schools and hospitals being evacuated.
Professor Maggie Rae, president of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Epidemiology and Public Health Section, said: “Flooding has the potential to be a major public health issue.
“As well as the direct risks to life and health, this report is a timely reminder that flooding can knock out the infrastructure we rely on to access and deliver healthcare such as hospitals, roads and communications.”
It’s understood the flooding incidents listed by Round Our Way are caused by bad weather and if that’s the case then there will be countless more cases of internal flooding in hospitals caused by leaking pipes and other plumbing problems.
Some of the flooding will no doubt involve leaking sewage and escaping water can spell an immediate health and safety risk for patients and staff as they could quite easily slip and fall on it.
The best way NHS trusts can be prepared for any flooding either inside or out is to have FloodSax alternative sandbags on the site which are space-saving to store yet quick and easy to deploy.
In their dry state they are very flat with a large surface area so can soak up leaks, spills and floods, even in the hardest-to-reach places such as beneath pipes.
Pop one on the floor and it will soak up the spillage and will also be instantly visible. Mopping a floor just tends to move the wetness around.
Immerse FloodSax fully in water and they will absorb up to 20 litres and retain it so the FloodSax is transformed into an instant sandless sandbag.
FloodSax spokeswoman Lucy Bailey said: “FloodSax is an ultra-flexible and multi-purpose way to deal with leaking water or floods. They are way better and more environmentally friendly than traditional sandbags.
“We are finding more and more they are the first choice for large businesses, public buildings and facilities management companies.”
For more on FloodSax go to www.floodsax.co.uk