PERFORMANCE: A small fire broke out at Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals Foundation Trust on 16 November, shutting the emergency department for a short period.

In a statement, the FT praised the “calm and efficient action” of staff working in the A&E department at St Peter’s Hospital.

The department was reopened 20 minutes after the alarm was first activated and all patients were back in the department by 10am. The trust identified a “faulty light fitting” as the cause.

A&E manager Philip Kemp said: “Smoke was seen coming from a ceiling light fitting in the department at around 9.30… and the fire alarm was immediately activated.

“We took the decision to evacuate all patients who were not behind fire doors, including all patients waiting in the main waiting room at the front of the department (our minors area).”

Trust deputy chief executive Valerie Bartlett added: “I would like to express thanks to all the staff in our A&E department and to our estates team and ambulance colleagues.”