Ninewells patients are being left in the cold – but NHS Tayside has rejected claims of a broken heating system.
A whistleblower contacted The Courier to allege the heating system was broken.
They said patients were asking for extra blankets and staff were so cold they had to wear jackets.
Following the claims, reports of burst pipes and cold wards also emerged – but NHS Tayside denied the allegations.
They insist windows must be left open to ventilate wards and blamed the drop in temperature indoors on this week’s colder weather.
But the whistleblower said: “They put in a new energy system a while ago which cost a fortune.
“This week we heard a pipe had broken. And that it’s been broken since last weekend.
‘Asking for extra blankets’
“They were trying to get heaters but some of the patients were asking for extra blankets.
“It’s absolutely freezing for the patients.”
When asked for comment on Wednesday, NHS Tayside told us they had checked and there was no heating issue.
‘The place was freezing’
Despite that assurance, later in the week, a relative of a patient contacted us saying: “I wanted to get in touch on the basis of trying to get this issue sorted quicker.
“The weather has turned this week and it’s been colder.
“It’s been claimed heating hasn’t been working since at least Monday, but we’ve also heard folk say it was since last weekend.
“Through summer it has been warm, the first thing I do is take my jacket off. But by the middle of the week I had to keep my jacket on.
“I’d like to stress the ward have been fantastic and the hospital are amazing, we just want this issue hurried along.”
‘Is it being taken seriously?’
The relative claims some nurses were left having to keep jackets on for warmth and that they were sourcing blankets for patients who were feeling the cold.
“We had heard they were meant to be getting temporary heaters, then we heard there’s a burst pipe. There have been various comments made.
“The place was freezing and a member of staff said the heating was broken.
“All we want is things to be hurried along and get this fixed.
“Is it being taken seriously? It’s a long time for the heating in a hospital to be broken.”
‘Temperature drop due to cold snap’
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “There is no fault with the heating at Ninewells Hospital.
“Wards are heated throughout the year by air handling units. These are supplemented in the colder months by radiators.”
These are turned on on October 1 each year, they add.
The spokesperson continued: “To comply with Covid-19 guidance around ventilation, windows in wards are kept ajar to allow air to circulate.
“Due to the recent cold snap of weather, the temperature in some of the wards has dropped. Our staff are offering extra blankets and bringing in portable heaters to keep patients comfortable.
“Our Estates team is also visiting ward areas to check temperatures and to offer additional support where required.”
The claims come on the back of other reported issues for the flagship hospital.