Insight into Gatton Hospital Good Friday closure

West Moreton Health has outlined why removing 21 patients on the evening of Good Friday was a vital safety precaution. Picture: LVRC

West Moreton Health has given insight into the decision to vacate 21 patients from Gatton Hospital after an unpleasant odour was reported at the Lockyer hospital on the afternoon of Good Friday, 29 March.

The hospital reported an unpleasant odour in what was suspected as a chemical leak about 1:30pm on Good Friday after a UPS battery pack used as a backup for the power supply was identified as the cause.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch said the wellbeing of hospital patients and staff was highly prioritised once the odour was detected.

“The safety and wellbeing of patients and staff is West Moreton Health’s top priority,” she said.

“Last Friday, 21 patients were evacuated from Gatton Hospital out of an abundance of caution after a UPS battery pack used for back-up power supply and located in the vicinity of medical imaging began emitting an unpleasant odour.”

Seven Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews were tasked with investigating and clearing the odour.

Mrs Bloch said West Moreton Health worked with Queensland Ambulance Service and other hospitals to transfer patients safely and received the all-clear from emergency services to reopen Gatton Hospital after approximately four hours.

“Five patients were decanted to Laidley and Ipswich hospitals but returned to Gatton Hospital once it was safely re-opened at about 5.30pm,” she said.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan supported West Moreton Health’s decision to vacate the hospital and said council was able to notify the public of the news swiftly.

“We appreciate that West Moreton Health and Gatton Hospital staff made the safety of patients and staff their top priority and removed them from any potential danger,” she said.

“West Moreton Health also informed council of the incident so we could assist in getting information out to the community.”