Three trusts have failed fire safety tests ordered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, it has been revealed.
NHS Improvement said three trusts, two in London, have seen part of their cladding fail combustability tests.
Results on cladding from another five are outstanding; while 30 either have none of the potentially dangerous cladding, or have now had a fire safety inspection and are deemed to require “no further action at this stage”.
Samples taken from King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust and North Middlesex University Hospital Trust in London had aluminium composite material cladding in non-inpatient areas. King’s has removed the cladding as precaution.
Sheffield Children’s Foundation Trust is removing cladding from a building after failing the test. In relation to Sheffield NHS Improvement said: “The building is not used for inpatient accommodation and measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of the building while the ACM is removed.”
All NHS trusts and foundation trusts were asked to carry out urgent fire safety checks following the Grenfell Tower fire, although there was considerable confusion in the sector over how this was to be co-ordinated and whether the checks could be completed over a weekend.
The 38 trusts deemed ‘priority one’ by NHS Improvement have started 24-hour fire warden patrols.
A spokesperson for NHS Improvement said: “Patient safety is paramount. There will be no disruptions to patient services or continuity of care.”
The regulator would not confirm which five trusts were still awaiting combustibility results from the Building Research Establishment.
Work on checking and improving fire safety in the NHS in relation to issues other than cladding is still ongoing across many trusts.
The inclusion of update from NHS Improvement contradicts a statement from North Middlesex University Hospital Trust to HSJ on 28 June, which said: “We are confident that all our hospital buildings meet current fire safety regulations and are safe for staff and patients following our own fire assessments. Our 1970s tower block has no exterior cladding of the kind used at Grenfell Tower. Nor do any of our other buildings.”
Today the trust issued another statement which said: ”On Friday 30th June 2017, the trust provided samples from panels taken from two of our buildings including the Tower, for fire resistance testing. These samples were tested over the weekend. The results from this have shown that cladding from the Tower building has the appropriate level of fire resistance. We want to reassure, patients, staff and visitors that our main ward areas do not have cladding on their exterior walls and as a result are not affected.
”However, cladding on the main building which includes the main outpatient, day surgery, link corridors and office facilities failed the fire resistance test. The parties responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the building and who have been working with us on this matter have been informed of the test result. The trust will work with them over the coming weeks to examine the appropriate actions necessary to address this issue.”