A hospital trauma building is closing for a year due to concerns about fire safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The trauma unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford is to move from its current site “for up to 12 months” while improvements are made.
By Nick Stylianou, Sky News Reporter
A hospital trauma building is closing for a year due to concerns about fire safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The trauma unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford is to move from its current site “for up to 12 months” while improvements are made.
The unit, which houses 52 inpatient beds, needs urgent work to replace the cladding and address “a combination of fire safety factors”.
Beds will be moved to other wards within the hospital on Friday, but office staff and the ground-floor outpatient clinic will remain at the current site.
External cladding is thought to have contributed to the spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower, which led to the deaths of at least 80 people.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust commissioned a review of fire safety at its four main buildings following the fire in June.
A report by fire safety consultancy Trenton Fire, which carried out the review, found the trauma unit had “serious and embedded fire safety issues” and identified problems with the “inadequate” fire alarm system, missing cavity barriers and a flammable cladding system.
This combination of factors was not sufficient to stop a fire spreading, and cladding panels removed for inspection indicated a “deviation from guidance”, the report said.
The consultants warned that the fire service could issue a prohibition notice if works were not immediately carried out on the building, which was only built in 2002.
Dr Bruno Holthof, chief executive of the hospital trust, said: “Our highest priority is the patients in our care and our staff who are dedicated in their care for those patients.
“In common with many other organisations with public buildings, the Trust has been reviewing its fire safety procedures and systems following the tragic events in London.
“We will implement any changes necessary to ensure that our patients are safe.”