Hospital bosses are carrying out an urgent review after a claustrophobic patient was stuck in a lift for more than two hours when lift engineers failed to respond to calls for help.
The 26-year-old was trapped in the lift between the ground and first floor of the vascular surgery ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary early yesterday.
After he was stuck for more than an hour, firefighters were called at 1am.
Fairweather Green watch commander Gio Richetta said the man calmed down when firefighters arrived, but there was little they could do as the specialist lift had lost pressure and procedure means they cannot intervene in such circumstances.
He said: “The onsite staff and engineer on site had attempted to take manual control of the lift, but were unable to. They had been attempting to call lift engineers, they didn’t respond, so the poor guy had been stuck in for over an hour by the time we got the call.
“He was claustrophobic so quite distressed.
“Unfortunately when we got there, our procedures do not allow us to do anything if the lift has lost its pressure, which it had, so we made attempts to call alternative engineers since we couldn’t contact the one that should have been there.”
Mr Richetta said they kept the man updated on what was happening.
“If the man had started having breathing difficulties or something like that, we’d have got in, but it wouldn’t have been a pretty sight. We’d have had to bring in the technical rescue team to do some heavy-duty cutting,” the watch commander added.
“I had to have all sorts of things in my mind as to what to do just in case.”
He said the process and being unable to contact the lift engineers, who the BRI has not named, was frustrating and he was writing a report for hospital staff.
“We were eager to get in and we could see the guy in this distressed state,” Mr Richetta said.
The patient, who is in hospital for knee problems, was finally freed at 2.10am, thanks to a company called ThyssenKrupp.
Chief operating officer for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Helen Barker said: “We are reviewing our contingency arrangements as a matter of urgency.
“We would like to thank the fire service for their prompt action in resolving the situation.”
Mr Richetta said he was unsure what had caused the lift to fail.