Chesterfield Royal hospital fire shuts A&E department

A fire broke out at a hospital in Derbyshire, closing its emergency department as staff rushed to move patients to safety.

The blaze broke out at 2120 BST on Saturday in a newsagents shop in the main entrance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Staff immediately closed the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department and 15 patients on stretchers had to be moved.

All emergency admissions are being diverted to other hospitals.

Ten fire appliances were sent to the scene and the blaze was put out after midnight, but crews have remained at the scene extinguishing hot spots.

There was reported to be considerable smoke and fire damage to the A&E reception area and the fracture clinic, as the flames had spread through a roof space.

'Extensive damage'

Chesterfield Royal's head of communications, Sarah Turner-Saint, said: "We are asking people not to attend A&E until further notice.

"We are taking advice from the fire service, but at the present time it is not safe to take emergency patients."

She said there were no plans to evacuate any wards and no-one had been injured in the fire.

Eric Morton, the hospital's chief executive, said: "There is extensive damage to some areas but we will work as quickly as we can to repair this.

"We hope to have services back up to full strength within the next couple of days - albeit with some longer term reconstruction."

An investigation into the cause of the fire will begin later