Heating problems in the Courtyard Clinic

March 11 2019
The ineffectiveness of the heating system in the Courtyard Clinic has been a significant issue for nearly 2 years now. Staff and the KPA committee have been complaining about this unacceptable state of affairs following their own and other patients’ experiences. The situation has been particularly bad for patients arriving very early in the morning.
Here is an update on the situation:



Despite assurances (that began over a year ago) that this would be addressed soon after moving to the Courtyard Clinic, the situation has only marginally improved over that intervening period despite a series of measures that have been taken. In our opinion, the hospital estates team has been slow to diagnose and respond to the situation; communications have been poor and not enough executive focus was applied as the plans slipped and solutions failed to fix the issues.

A dependence on portable heaters and masking tape as draught excluder, meant the building was just not fit-for-purpose without significant improvement.

Following an escalation to the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Jacqueline Totterdell, more management attention has been applied and below is a recent email that was sent by Kevin Howell, the Executive Director of Estates and Facilities.

We are hopeful that the measures that are in place will resolve the situation once and for all. We will continue to monitor progress and let you know the outcome.

Your sincerely

Michael Greatorex
Chairman, St George’s Kidney Patients Association




UPDATE (May 2019):

We had been advised that all of the heating and hot water issues in the Courtyard have now been resolved and that any subsequent teething issues will be resolved promptly.

As part of an end of project meeting Kevin Howell (Estate Director) provided an apology and  the following explanation from their contractor:

Hi Kevin

Just a quick update on the hot water and heating system of Courtyard Clinic.

Hot Water:
When we started, there was no hot water in the Courtyard Clinic as far as the staff can remember, although there were pipes and TMVs installed.
To reinstate hot water, we have installed a new softener, hot water pump and heat exchangers. The system was put back online recently (8/4/19) following chemically and thermally disinfection. I am very confident in this system because it is as good as a new system except the old pipes from plant room to the main areas. 
This has been handed over to the operational team. The staff in the Courtyard Clinic have been very pleased with this.


When we started here more than 50% of the radiators in the courtyard clinics and offices were not working. The main reason was that the system was not cleaned or chemically dosed for many years and system was full of the sludge up to a level that 15-20 radiators were completely blocked. The ideal solution for such situation is to replace all the pipes and radiators but this would have been very expensive and would have caused a lot of disturbance as the clinics are working all weekdays.

We chemically cleaned the system without realising that the chemical was not going to every part of the system as 15-20 radiators were completely blocked. After finding this we repaired/ replaced all the blocked pipes; the system is now working and all the radiators are hot. This was the case last week. 

To further improve the system and increase its reliability we are installing 5 new magnetic filters this Monday (15th April) and new pump on Wednesday (17th April). The risk currently is that the existing sludge will block some of the radiators after continued use, using the magnetic filters and removing the sludge will keep improving and cleaning the system. I am confident that in 1-2 months system will be clear of all the sludge and we will have perfectly operating system.

Presently the heating system is completely working but we may get one off complaints if radiators get blocked due to the pre-existing sludge.

Hope this clarifies all, please advise if you need any more information. 

Thanks and Regards 


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