Fire safety fears force remedial work at Skanska PFI hospital

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Skanska is carrying out remedial work at a hospital it built ten years ago following fears that fire protection measures are inadequate.

University Hospital Coventry was completed under a £440m PFI contract in 2006 following a four-year build programme.

Concerns were first raised about the construction earlier this year when the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust declined Freedom of Information requests to reveal details of a report into fire compartmentation safety issues.

David Eltringham, chief operating officer at the Trust, said: “Following a review of the fire safety separation at University Hospital, we learned of some potential issues with the infrastructure.

“As a result of these issues, we immediately launched an internal investigation to determine if any further steps needed to be taken to make the site safer.

“This investigation appeared to show that, in the unlikely event of a fire, the structures to prevent it spreading were not as robust as those specified in the original plan for the building.

“We have worked with our PFI provider to develop a programme of remedial works, which are now underway.

“Until they are completed, we have taken steps to strengthen our already robust fire safety procedures.

“We also alerted West Midlands Fire Service to the issue and have been working with them closely.

“These extra steps we have put in place means we can assure patients, staff and visitors that the hospital remains safe while the remedial works are undertaken.”

Skanska said it had nothing to add to the Trust’s statement.

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