Patients were evacuated from A&E and ambulances diverted from Kingston Hospital following a chemical contamination scare last night.

The emergency services also sealed off Galsworthy Road after fears were raised about a patient who arrived at 5.30pm after being in contact with an unknown substance on Friday, December 16.

The ambulance service heart team called in the fire brigade, who summoned five pumps, six senior officers, two fire rescue units and a rapid response team designated to deal with chemical, nuclear and biological incidents.

Ambulances were diverted to other hospitals for four hours, but the fire service took readings that were “within acceptable levels”.

The hospital returned to normal by 11pm.

A spokesperson for Kingston Hospital NHS Trust said: "At 5.30pm last night a patient attended A&E who had been in contact with an unknown substance.

“As the number one priority for Kingston Hospital is always the safety of our staff and patients, A&E was cleared as a precautionary measure until a full assessment of the substance could be undertaken.

“As part of this assessment, Galsworthy Road was cordoned off by emergency services until the severity of the situation could be determined.

“It was later found the substance was non-hazardous and no staff or patients had been adversely affected.

“All patients in A&E at the time were moved to other areas of the hospital, as appropriate.

“Ambulances were diverted from Kingston Hospital for approximately four hours.

“By 11pm last night, all services had resumed to normal at the hospital. We would like to thank the emergency services and members of the public for their cooperation during this time."

A Kingston fire station spokesman said: “We were called to Kingston Hospital A&E department, and the initial call was to assist London Ambulance Service with possible contamination.

“It was one adult male initially who had been contaminated. I think in the end five others were contaminated.”

The London Ambulance Service said it was called at 6.40pm left just before 10pm, although it did not treat any patients.

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