Oxford

Grenfell cladding: Oxford hospital building still closed

Trauma centre Image copyright Oxford University Hospitals Trust
Image caption The major trauma unit at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital has been closed for 18 months

A major part of a hospital building remains closed 18 months after "serious" concerns were raised over its similar cladding to Grenfell Tower.

Two trauma wards at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford were relocated when safety concerns arose after the London fire in 2017.

Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH) has not decided how it will tackle the issue of the cladding.

The trust said the cost of work on the building would be "substantial".

Issues with the cladding were identified in August 2017 after the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people.

External cladding is thought to have contributed to the spread of the fire in the building.

After the fire, safety concerns were identified with the building and patients were moved out.

The trust predicted a large portion of the building would be closed for a year.

A report on the building said it was "high risk" because of the alarms and escape plan alone.

The ground floor of the building is still used by outpatient services, and the two trauma wards have been relocated to other parts of the hospital.

OUH chief finance officer Jason Dorsett said there were "some very detailed options" on getting the trauma building back into use, but these options would "need to be considered by the trust board".

He said: "We will then need to find the funding to complete the works, which is likely to be substantial and to require borrowing which will also take time."

He added the trust would have a clearer idea of the timescale of completing the work in the summer.

A trust spokeswoman said OUH was in the process of "opening more beds on the trauma ward at the Horton General Hospital" in Banbury to increase capacity for the number of patients that can be treated.

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