The Podium plantroom is normally a busy, hissing hub of high powered machinery and noise and this was all about to change in a huge way over the Christmas period at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Heating and hot and cold water is essential for the smooth running of a hospital, together with vacuum delivery of bloods but all this was affected in a huge way at a time when many people are looking forward to time at home with their families.
It was Christmas day, early in the evening when a call came through saying that the power to the Podium Plantroom had been reduced by half! All attempts to restore full power had failed and instructions were made to the team to determine how wide spread the issue was and to discover what could be causing such a huge loss of power. Phil, Laurence and Billy, the team on duty at that time attended the site to see what could be done. Senior Management, Trust Estates Management and Duty Managers were all informed. All further attempts to isolate and restore power by a specialist contractor proved futile as the fault was still present. Contingency plans had to be put into operation and the plant room had become deathly quiet which was unnerving for all concerned. A subsequent HV trip had caused some lighting to flicker and some IT systems to trip out and these were able to be restored but unfortunately the podium plantroom had no power whatsoever.
Up to 5 generator suppliers were called but Burtonwood Generators came to the rescue after calls had been put out to various suppliers which was not an easy feat on such a huge public holiday and the Trust had to be informed that plans were in place for the restoration of power. 2 huge generators had to be ordered together with fuel tanks and cables, the estimated delivery time was 10pm at night!! Christmas for the team had been all but cancelled as they had to await the delivery and installation. By 11pm the generators had arrived and by 3.23am power had been partially restored. Sleep was out of the question as it was not until the early hours of the next morning when daylight was coming through that power had been restored to all the plant in the podium plantroom. The day shift arrived and the day management team monitored the generators and organised the re-fuelling for the generators.
Christmas for the team on call for the following week had been duly cancelled as it took all their waking hours to ensure that the hospital had sufficient power with the use of the generators and that the investigations and subsequent plans for eventual repair were up and running.
These generators remained on site until March when a permanent fix had been completed but it did mean that as a result of the quick thinking and hard work of our team during this period that we were awarded ‘Team of the Month’ by the Trust who were so impressed by the dedication and hard work of Avrenim.
“the best time for the worst thing to happen!”