Storm in a teacup at hospital

STAFF at Ipswich Hospital got all steamed up after they mistakenly feared their kettles had been confiscated in a cost-cutting exercise, it emerged today.

STAFF at Ipswich Hospital got all steamed up after they mistakenly feared their kettles had been confiscated in a cost-cutting exercise, it emerged today.

Doctors and nurses in outpatient department clinics were in uproar when they arrived at work to find their kettles and heaters taken away.

Even the Christmas tree lights were switched off, in what was originally thought to be a penny-pinching measure.

With many already working longer hours, foregoing breaks and being hit by the site's no smoking ban, a row began brewing over the inability to brew-up when workers arrived for their shifts on Monday.


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Nurses were even heard to ask: “How hard-up is the NHS if it can't afford to run the kettles.”

Confusion reigned in outpatients clinics and pharmacy as managers seemed unaware as to whether the equipment would be re-instated or not.

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Staff were forced to walk to water boilers and return through patient areas with trays of steaming coffee and tea.

But today it seems it was a storm in a tea cup after it emerged a misunderstanding had occurred while the hospital changed over generators to cope with the increasing amount of power needed during the colder weather.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “We were switching the generators, transferring the load on Friday and over the weekend.

“Some kettles and some heaters were removed, so when the switchover took place there would not be too much load on the generator. For some parts of Monday some of the Christmas tree lights were turned off.

Ms Rowsell said senior electrical staff had recommended the action to prevent problems to patient services while power was transferred to the new generator.

Although most of the areas affected were back to normal by Tuesday, Ms Rowsell added that work was still being finalised in some areas, but would only carry on in the short term.

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