Jan 14, 2024

Brockton Hospital emergency department reopening delayed by supply chain issues

By Christina Hager

Updated on: August 11, 2023 / 6:34 AM / CBS Boston

BROCKTON - WBZ-TV got a rare look inside Brockton Hospital during their rebuilding from a devastating electrical fire last February. It's been shut down ever since.

"We have damaged wiring, damaged HVAC duct work, plumbing, gas-piping possibly," said Director of Facilities Brian Backoff, pointing to the ceiling in a hallway.

Now, six months into rebuilding, there's a delay. Most of the hospital care, including the emergency department, will be on-hold even longer because of supply-chain back-ups.

"Our supplies that are needed right now are coming in very slowly, but we anticipate the completion of everything to go into 2024," said Lorraine McGrath, spokesperson for Signature Healthcare, which operates Brockton Hospital.

A visible web of wiring overhead shows just how complicated a puzzle it is. Crews are still waiting on thousands of pieces of electrical gear to power the 250-thousand-foot hospital.

It comes back to life next week, at least in part, with only wound and infusion departments opening Tuesday August 15.

"It's very exciting. For the past six months, it has been really a whirlwind," said McGrath.

But waiting longer for emergency care to resume is weighing on other hospitals like Brockton's Good Samaritan Hospital, where ER demand doubled. The burden is also trickling down to fire departments across the region. "That takes our resources out of the city for further transport times and then when we get there, they're also overstocked," said Brockton Fire Chief Brian McGrath.

There is a bright spot amid the struggle. During the recovery, construction crews are also able to complete an expansion project that was planned before the fire happened. It adds 13 additional beds for patients. Hospital managers hope that from the ashes, a stronger, better Brockton Hospital will emerge.

Christina Hager is an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter with the I-Team at WBZ-TV News. She has spent more than two decades covering major breaking news events across the country, including extensive daily coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

First published on August 10, 2023 / 5:40 PM

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