Enforcement notice issued by fire service

Staffordshire fire service has ordered Staffordshire's biggest hospital to carry out a number of fire safety improvements after a blaze sparked the evacuation of patients, staff and visitors.

The Sentinel reports that University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) - which runs the Royal Stoke University Hospital - has been handed a fire enforcement notice following the incident.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued the notice after an investigation into last June's fire.

As part of the enforcement notice, the trust has been ordered to:

  • Carry out work to stop smoke spreading through the hospital in the event of a fire;
  • Improve its storage procedures;
  • Make sure fire doors are not kept wedged open;
  • Improve 'emergency procedures' and training for staff.

Chief executive Paula Clark said: “There is no suggestion that our building was not compliant with safety standards. However, I want to reassure our patients and visitors that we have been working to prevent any similar spread of smoke in the future.

“This includes putting in place interim measures until the required works can be fully implemented. We are reviewing and making the appropriate necessary adjustments to the compartment and sub-compartment walls, floors, service risers and ventilation systems of the hospital building.

“As a direct response to the initial guidance from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service immediately after the fire, we have also changed the way we store materials in corridors, issued strict instructions around fire doors and updated emergency procedures and preparedness training for staff.

"We will continue to review our training and policies and put in place actions to ensure that all staff are fully compliant and competent in emergency procedures and preparedness within their role.”

The enforcement notice was issued after the fire service ruled that the trust failed to comply with requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire service prevent and protect director Glynn Luznyj, said: “We have a good working relationship with the NHS trust and are providing them with the necessary support. It is clear to us that the trust has taken on our recommendations and significant progress has already been made. We will continue to work with the trust to ensure it achieves its compliance.

“The issuing of this enforcement notice is a reminder to all businesses and organisations of their legal responsibilities.”

Original source

The Sentinel