A HOSPITAL was forced to cancel appointments and delay treatment to several patients on Friday when an electrical fault caused major disruption.

Colchester General Hospital suffered a power cut at 9am alongside 295 other properties in the Mile End area, leaving them without electricity for more than four hours.

The lack of power was caused by a fault on an underground cable and some patients had to wait to be treated and others had their appointments cancelled.

Cancer patients visiting the hospital for their scheduled radiotherapy sessions were initially unable to be seen until staff received confirmation that power had been restored.

Jan Ingle, head of communications and external relations at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust said:

“When treating patients for radiotherapy you have to have a continuous supply of power and our nursing staff had to make sure the disruption was kept to a minimum.

“We had some patients who had started their treatment but couldn’t continue with it because of the power issue, but we limited the disruption and of course patient safety is our biggest priority.

“Treatments were slightly delayed but everyone did receive their treatments in the end.”

Some people who were meant to be meeting with doctors at the hospital for other issues also had to have their allotted appointments rescheduled.

Alan Jones, 25, from Clacton-on-Sea, was meant to have an eye consultation at the hospital but received a phone call from staff moments before he was about to leave his house.

Staff alerted him to the power cut and subsequently cancelled his appointment, rescheduling it for two weeks’ time.

He said: “I was due to have an eye appointment on Friday morning at Colchester General Hospital, and just before I left, I got a phone call.

“I was told that they’d had a power cut and wouldn’t be able to see me as they weren’t sure when the power would come back on.”

Eventually engineers from UK Power Networks resolved the issue just after 1pm restoring power and electricity to both the hospital and homeowners.

A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said: “UK Power Networks are aware of a power cut affecting 295 Properties since 09:00 today (Friday) in the Mile End area of Colchester.

“Our engineers worked as quickly and safely as possible to restore all customers in stages with final customers being restored by 13:04 today (Friday).”

“The cause was a fault on an underground cable.

“We realise how difficult it can be without power and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”