‘Major flaws’ exposed in hospital’s construction

02 June 2015

Fire safety concerns have been raised at the UK’s first private sector funded hospital, Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

The hospital was opened in 2000 as the first built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) with a £67 million price tag.

The concerns related to fire proofing materials used, which were said to not meet required standards to allow for safe evacuation or prevent fire from spreading in the building

Chief Operating Officer at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Helen Ray, said: "Whilst all appropriate measures are now in pace to safeguard staff, patients and visitors against the possibility of fire whist this work takes place, the risks identified through our own independent report were wholly unacceptable and were raised immediately with our PFI partner who are responsible for the Cumberland Infirmary building.

"This is not the first time we have uncovered such major flaws in the service provided to us through our PFI partner and the trust board remains very deeply concerned that the current arrangements are not providing the high standards of service we require for our patients in North Cumbria on a consistent basis."

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