Oxford

John Radcliffe Hospital: Cladding review finds unit is 'high risk'

Trauma centre Image copyright Oxford University Hospitals Trust
Image caption The trauma unit at John Radcliffe Hospital may be closed for up to a year

A hospital building due to be closed to inpatients in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire has "serious and embedded" issues, a fire safety report has found.

The report, which reviewed cladding on the trauma unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said the building was "high risk" because of the alarms and escape plan alone.

Without action, it suggested there were grounds for the fire service to restrict access.

Patients are due to be moved by Friday.

The building could be closed for up to a year while works are carried out to make it safe.

The review, by Trenton Fire, recommended evacuation lifts should be installed at each end of the building and the alarm system changed.

It also said the building's cladding should be replaced.

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, announced on Tuesday it would "implement any changes necessary" to ensure patients are safe.

Image caption Medical director Dr Tony Berendt said patients "have been at risk"

The three-storey unit, which was built in 2002 and has 52 beds, is used by patients who are immobile due to the care they are receiving.

The building has one set of two lifts, but the review said the escape plan had been that they were not to be used for evacuation and the escape procedures were based upon waiting for the fire service.

It added: "This is not in accordance with legislative guidance, the fire service should not be relied upon to assist with means of escape."

"This is considered a high risk issue."

The report concluded the problems with the building would generally need to be solved within a few days, and that patients should be moved because it would not be possible to fix them in such a short period.

But the ground floor can still be used and staff can use the second and third floors subject to additional assessment.

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