One of the most prestigious teaching hospital trusts in London has said it will need to remove cladding from its new cancer centre after fire safety checks following the Grenfell fire disaster.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust has said this afternoon that rain panels on its cancer centre, which opened in September 2016, would have to be removed after they were found to use aluminium composite materials.
In a statement this afternoon, a spokewoman said the trust had sent samples to the Building Research Establishment for tests, and that it was now clear the panels were of the type covered by a briefing note published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 2 August.
The DCLG guidance said this type of aluminium composite material cladding “did not adequately resist the spread of fire” as required by current building regulations. “Wall systems with these materials therefore present a significant fire hazard on buildings over 18m,” the statement said.
The Guy’s cancer centre is 14 storeys high.
A GSTT spokesman told HSJ the remedial work would take place this “autumn”. The trust was still in the process of finding out how much the remedial work would cost, and who would pay for it, the spokesman added.
All trusts have had to carry out checks to identify cladding and other fire risks following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The GSTT statement said: “Since receiving the initial result from the BRE test, we have sought expert advice, including from our own fire officers and the London Fire Brigade.
“The advice confirms that the building is safe for continued occupation (including the inpatients in the HCA Healthcare part of the Cancer Centre) because of the extensive fire protection systems in place.”
The cancer centre was “designed to the highest standards”, and was equipped with firefighting equipment including fire detection systems and sprinklers, the GSTT statement said. It also has two fire escapes.
Trust chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “We will carry out remedial work including the removal of cladding to ensure that we comply with the new government advice, to reassure our patients and the public and to make sure that the cancer centre continues to reflect the highest safety standards.
“This will be done as quickly as possible in a planned and measured way, with work likely to start this autumn. The safety of our patients, visitors and staff continues to be our highest priority.”