A PATIENT was left in a waiting room for hours after a blocked toilet caused sewage to flood onto a hospital ward.

Raw sewage began leaking onto the Southbourne Ward at Southend Hospital on New Year’s Day after a toilet became blocked.

One person, who witnessed the incident but asked to remain anonymous, said: “The ward was flooded with waste water four times throughout the day on January 1.

“The ward’s healthcare assistants were trying their best to stop it from spreading across the ward even though they were short staffed and had difficult patients to deal with so they deserve to be commended for their efforts to try and make sure patients weren’t negatively affected.

“They had to put a female patient in a waiting room for eight hours until they could find her a bed somewhere else on the ward.”

The problem was initially resolved but the sewage leak re-occurred later in the day requiring a specialist contractor to unblock the toilet and prevent future leaks.

The hospital confirmed there had been a plumbing problem which had meant a patient had to be relocated to a waiting area on the ward.

A spokesman for the Southend University Hospital Trust said: “On January 1, our maintenance team responded to a blocked toilet located in a patient side room on Southbourne Ward, which was caused by the disposal of non-flushable items.

“The blockage resulted in a small flood on the ward and the relocation of a patient to an adjacent waiting room to be cared for.

“Our maintenance team were quick to the scene and resolved the initial blockage.

“But a re-occurrence of the problem required our specialist contractor to come in and assist.

“The situation has now been fully resolved and the area has been deep cleaned. No patients were a risk.”

The hospital’s Southbourne ward, located on the fourth floor of the tower block, is a 30-bed surgical ward, specialising in Urology, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), and short-stay general surgery.

Patients in the ward are those waiting for, or having just experienced, planned operations.