Fire Safety Issues Emerge at Kent & Canterbury Hospital
Updated @ 09:30am 23/11/20
In the last few days it has come to light that there are issues with the fire system at the Kent & Canterbury Hospital.
On the 17th Nov a member of the Shepwayvox Team had to attend the K & C to deal with a matter for a loved one on a ward – NO they were NOT allowed onto the ward. On the way to the ward a flashing light caught their eye. On closer inspection the fire alarm system was flashing and every few seconds the word fault kept on appearing, so they took a photograph of one of the panels which shows the sound had been disabled.
Now of course, the conscientious SV Team member immediately informed two members of staff, even showing a matron the issue, who said she’d call the estates team who are responsible for the fire alarm system.
Now the SV Team member had to attend the K & C again on the 19th Nov to resolve another issue for their loved one. Again the sign was flashing, so again they took another photo.
On this occasion the conscientious team member informed two other members of staff, letting them them know they’d done this on a previous visit 48 hours earlier. Staff promised to get the issue resolved again.
Also the SV Team member had the presence of mind to make a video this time to show the flashing fault.
At the time of writing, East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust media team, Liz Shutler (LS) the Deputy Chief Exec (below left), who is responsible the Trust’s fire safety, and the Chief Executive, Susan Acott (below right), had been asked for a comment, but no response had been received. We will publish it if we receive a response.
We do note in the minutes for the EKHUFT Board meeting of the 10th Sept 2020, it states:
LS reported the fire improvements within the Trust’s fire investment plan had been delayed due to Covid and non-accessibility issues. She confirmed the fire risk assessment programme had now re-commenced to implement improvements that would be monitored by the Fire Safety Group along with fire training.
Of course, Covid-19 has struck again forcing us all into lockdown 2, meaning the delays into the fire system will not be rectified anytime soon. Let’s hope the issues around fire safety are fixed sooner rather than later, as this significant issue needs to be resolved for both staff and patient safety.
Response from EKHUFT
A spokesman for East Kent Hospitals said:
“There are no issues with the function of the fire alarm system at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and it is checked daily and tested weekly.
“The panels sometimes display a fault message if local detectors have been isolated while work is taking place in areas of the hospital.“All areas of the hospital are covered by the fire detection system and can be heard clearly, the system is in good working order.
“The silencing mode relates to issues on
the panel, not to any of the fire alarm zones being silenced.”
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful
Surely fire safety trumps lockdown as it is a matter of life and death?
You may wish to enquire of Ms. Shutler if she is familiar with the contents of the document (below).