Fire safety updates

We have supported all trusts which have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower to implement extra safety measures until the appropriate remedial action is taken.

In the short term, these plans have included bringing in extra fire wardens, conducting extra fire safety patrols and ensuring that corridors are kept clear and that combustibles are appropriately stored. The safety of patients and staff has always been our top priority. 

We wrote to all NHS trusts and foundation trusts in June to ask them to carry out urgent fire safety checks following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

We identified nine trusts as ‘category one’ as they had buildings which had cladding similar to that at the Grenfell Tower. The names of these trusts are all in the public domain and this update only seeks to bring them together in one place.

The trusts are:

  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trus
  • North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College London NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Guy’s & St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

All of these trusts have implemented risk mitigation plans to minimise the risk to patients, visitors and staff from the risks related to cladding until it is removed. These plans include additional fire safety precautions which will remain in place until the appropriate remedial action is taken.

Previous updates

13 July 2017

As of today, all 38 organisations designated as Priority 1 have been reviewed in more detail and of those:

  • 19 were stood down requiring no further action at this time, having had fire safety inspections and supplying us with technical information
  • 14 required no further action at this stage having had building material samples discounted by Building Research Establishment
  • 5 organisations have provided samples that failed combustibility testing on aluminium composite material (ACM)

The latest results show that:

  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust submitted a sample of building material that has failed the combustibility test
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also failed the ACM combustibility test after submitting a sample taken from one of its buildings

Both trusts have instigated additional fire warden patrols and we are supporting them to take urgent steps to ensure fire safety, in line with updated guidance.

A further six organisations have now been designated as Priority 1. These will now have samples taken for testing and we'll provide a further update once the full results are available.

18 July 2017

To date, a total of six NHS organisations have submitted building material samples that have been found to be Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), and subsequently failed a combustibility test.

We can confirm that a sample from an inpatient unit at New Cross Hospital, part of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, has failed a combustibility test.  

We are supporting the trust, which has since been visited twice by the local fire service, as it takes all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its patients, staff and visitors. Following discussions with us and the local fire service, it has been decided it is safest and most appropriate to continue to treat patients in this unit. 

The measures being taken include:

  • 24/7 fire warden patrols
  • changes to some fire safety procedures at the site
  • increased security
  • raising staff awareness

Patient safety continues to be our absolute priority and we’ll make sure the NHS is supported to carry out the urgent fire safety checks required.

The five other NHS samples to have failed the combustibility tests were taken from buildings that do not house patients overnight. 

In line with the Secretary of State's request, we've now broadened our support to ensure that the rest of the NHS carries out the required checks, this includes non-inpatient buildings across the whole NHS estate. 

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