East London hospital rebuked over safety issues after fire brigade inspection

Newham Hospital has nine serious fire safety issues and must deal with them by March next year, a new report by the London Fire Brigade has found.

The LFB found that the hospital had several issues which posed a risk to fire safety, including adequate fire separation between floors and a suitable way of giving warning in case of a fire.

A spokesperson for the LFB said: “An enforcement notice was issued to Barts Health NHS Trust on September 9, 2020, under Article 30: Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

“The trust has until March 3, 2022 to comply with this notice. London Fire Brigade will offer support and advice where possible to help the trust meet the standards required.”

The report says that there was a “failure to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of persons on the premises,” a failure to provide proper emergency fire routes and exits, and with multiple other issues.

The September report provided a series of recommendations to address the nine issues highlighted by an inspection by the LFB and said that they must be resolved by March 9, 2022.

The recommendations included providing an adequate emergency plan in case of a fire, maintaining or replacing equipment for firefighters in the hospital, and arranging contacts between the hospital and emergency services.

A spokesperson for Barts Health Trust, which runs Newham Hospital, said: “Patient safety is our top priority, so we are spending £34 million over three years to improve fire safety at Newham Hospital.

“In addition to this essential work, we have asked external experts for some advice on how to ensure important maintenance work is done in a timely manner in future.”

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