A hospital has postponed dozens of procedures after pigeons nesting in the roof contaminated a sterile room.

On Friday staff entering a theatre’s sterile room in West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds noticed the birds above the ceiling.

Faeces had fallen through the joins of some ceiling tiles leading to disruption of procedures.

A spokesperson for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust that runs the hospital said pest control had been called and it was aiming to resume normal service early next week.

“As soon as staff became aware of what had happened the sterile storage room was immediately closed,” they explained.

“No contaminated equipment has been used and our sterile services team are working hard to re-sterilise all the equipment and deep clean the storage room.”

They added that at no point did the birds enter the sterile storage room or operating theatres.

On Monday, 25 patients had their procedures postponed but emergency, cancer and urgent procedures are continuing as normal.

“Whilst we’ve had to postpone some planned procedures, our teams are working hard to minimise the impact on patients and to re-sterilise the equipment and the storage room as soon as possible,” the spokesperson added.

The roof has since been closed off so the birds cannot re-enter.

Staff working in the sterile services team are also working extended hours to work through a backlog of re-sterilising equipment in the room.

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