Tufton reveals source of noxious fumes at Cornwall Regional Hospital
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says it could take up to six months to fully address the issue of noxious fumes currently affecting the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.
Tufton and officials of the health ministry today toured sections of Cornwall Regional where operations were disrupted on Monday because of noxious fumes which caused staff and patients to vacate some areas of the institution.
Addressing the media at the hospital today, Tufton said the fumes have been linked to a 20-year-old ventilation system which was recently put back into operation.
Tufton has assembled a working group to rectify the problem.
The working group has been tasked with investigating whether the current air duct system can be isolated and corrected or if an entirely new system needs to be designed and implemented.
Tufton has requested that the committee meet daily if needed.
The problem at the Mount Salem-based hospital first arose late last year when the noxious fumes, which reportedly emanated from the X-ray department, seeped into the ventilation system, forcing the closure of the first three floors of the hospital.
As a result, some cases were diverted from the hospital's Accident and Emergency department to the nearby Mount Salem Health Centre.
Persons with non-urgent cases were also asked to visit other health centres.
The fumes also forced the closure of a laboratory at the hospital and later triggered a protest by medical technologists who said their current workspace is putting them at risk and is not suitable for their tasks.