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United Utilities and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals join forces to remind patients and visitors to remember the three Ps

United Utilities and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces to ask patients and visitors to help keep the hospitals in good shape by only flushing pee, poo and paper down the loo.

The move follows a dramatic increase in blockages and flooding at both its Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital sites caused by wet wipes, personal hygiene products and nappies being flushed down the toilets, particularly at Royal Preston.

During the last six months alone, the hospital’s maintenance team has dealt with more than 1,000 blockages – many of which have caused flooding into corridors and even hospital wards. The campaign kicks-off as the Government announces the introduction of new legislation to ban wet wipes containing plastic.

Cliff Howell, Director of Estates and Facilities at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, explains: “We’ve seen a huge increase in floods in toilet and bathroom areas caused by pipes that have become blocked because of unsuitable products being flushed down the loo. As many of the toilets are small spaces, it isn’t unusual for the blockage to cause flooding in corridors or even hospital wards.

“Not only are these incidents inconvenient for patients and staff when bathroom facilities are out of action, they also pose a health risk for users and the maintenance team who have to clean it up.

"These incidents are time consuming and expensive, and they’re also avoidable. We have a simple request – and that is for everyone using our toilet facilities to please use waste bins to dispose of any personal hygiene products, such as wet wipes, and only flush pee, poo and paper down the loo.

“We knew that United Utilities has a campaign to ‘Stop the Block’ so we reached out to see if they could help us spread the word and encourage anyone using our facilities to only flush the three Ps.”

And the water company for the North West was happy to help. As well as providing information to hospital users, they will also be joining forces with the hospital team to spread wider patient awareness.  

Andy Peet, Wastewater Network Protection Manager at United Utilities said: “We know all too well the problems that are caused on our sewer network when wet wipes and other personal hygiene products are flushed. Even though some wet wipes are labelled as biodegradable, they don’t disintegrate like toilet paper does. This means they can build up until the pipe is blocked and nothing can pass through it. This can cause flooding in customers’ homes, local community or out in the environment.

“We regularly remind customers about what not to flush and we’re really happy to work with the team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to help them spread that message. We hope that people will remember only to flush the three Ps wherever they are.”

Get in touch

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Preston Road



01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

Sharoe Green Lane




01772 716565

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