Fire service report reveals failings

06 January 2017

A Kent hospital has been found to have not carried out a fire drill ‘for years’, according to a new report from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

The BBC states that KFRS produced the report following a review carried out at the Medway Maritime hospital between May and July.

The report states: "Uncontrolled building and maintenance work, particularly the routing of cables, pipes and other services through a compartment wall, may have a detrimental effect on the integrity and fire resistance of the wall."

The fire service said false ceilings, which create a hidden void above "can also hamper the assessment and management of compartment walls."

KFRS also highlighted the need for training of staff in some departments, including in the high dependency unit, and those who have special responsibilities including piped medical gases which may need to be isolated during a fire.

The report said: "There hadn't been any form of practical fire drill or fire warden training in the past two to three years."

In a statement, the fire service said: "While KFRS was satisfied at the time there was no immediate fire risk to staff, patients or visitors, significant fire safety recommendations were outlined in the report."

Darren Cattell, director of finance at the hospital trust, said: "As a result of the findings presented in the review, we are now able to tackle and address all areas of concern.

"This has also included the appointment of a permanent fire officer into post, fire drills conducted on a regular basis [and] computerised evacuation exercises for high dependency patient areas."

Original source