PERFORMANCE: A fire broke out at Western Sussex Hospitals Trust last week, less than 10 days after the organisation was hit by flooding.

The pathology department at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester was affected by a “small fire” on Tuesday, which caused disruption for several hours while it was tackled by the fire service.

The immediate area around the department was evacuated, outpatient clinics were stopped early and ambulances were temporarily diverted to Worthing and Portsmouth.

Cathy Stone, the trust’s director of nursing and patient safety, said: “Whilst the public would have seen a great deal of activity from the emergency services, the majority of our hospital services were unaffected.

“The fire service commended the trust for its handling of the incident, and we would like to thank everyone for their co-operation.”

Meanwhile, the trust’s other main site, Worthing Hospital, was affected by flooding during heavy rain on Sunday 10 June

Basement areas flooded by up to 30cm after a month’s rain fell in 12 hours, overwhelming the local drainage system.

All patients on the hospital’s wards “remained safe and dry throughout” but, as a precaution, emergencies were diverted to Brighton and Chichester for several hours overnight, the trust said.

The main areas affected were the hospital’s postgraduate medical centre, library, doctors’ mess and the basements of the north and east wings.