THE kitchen and restaurant at Basingstoke Hospital has been shut down until at least Monday due to the after effects of a burst pipe underneath the hospital.

The burst pipe was discovered yesterday (Tuesday) and was repaired and the affected area underneath the hospital thoroughly cleaned, but the hospital has reported a 'strong' and 'unpleasant' smell remaining around the kitchen and restaurant area.

As a result, and based on professional advice, the Trust took the decision to close the restaurant, to both visitors and staff, and the kitchen today (Wednesday).

Hospital patients are currently being offered a cold service until at least tomorrow (Thursday) when a mobile kitchen is expected to arrive with the restaurant likely to remain off limits until at least Monday, according to Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospital.

Food production for patients has temporarily moved to an alternative location and the Trust is informing patients, visitors and staff that food is available at various other locations on the site.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue. Our staff are working round the clock to ensure that the problems are resolved as soon as possible and I would like to thank them all for their continued efforts.”