Trust appoints contractor to carry out building improvements

Date: 12 October 2018

News update image

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has appointed a contractor to carry out work to replace cladding on part of the hospital. The buildings date from 1999, and the cladding is therefore reaching the end of its life and is due for replacement.

The work, to be carried out by local firm Lawtech Group, will begin from late October and is expected to be completed by next summer (2019).

Patient care will not be affected by the work, and any disruption to patients or staff is expected to be very minimal. Patients will not need to be moved during the work on the outside of the building.

The work is the next phase in a programme which began in 2016 to improve fire safety at the hospital. An action plan was already being implemented following close working with Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and after the Grenfell Tower tragedy the Trust reviewed its fire safety action plan and appointed independent experts in fire safety to provide advice and produce a fire safety strategy.

Since the review the Trust has carried out a considerable amount of work which has greatly improved fire safety. This includes:

  • Fire-stopping works carried out to create 60-minute compartments
  • Installing plaster boarding on external walls to provide insulation and increased protection, reducing the risk of fire spreading
  • Regular patrols by estates and designated fire wardens
  • Additional CCTV cameras installed
  • Fire training levels increased
  • Removal of all non-essential items likely to prove a fire risk
  • Removal of cardboard compactors from the exterior of the building
  • Vigilance in enforcing existing fire safety measures such as maintaining clear fire exits
  • Corridors to be kept clear of equipment
  • Agreement with KFRS that any fire alarm going off in building will trigger an immediate alert resulting in immediate attendance on the site.

Chief Executive Lesley Dwyer said: “The safety of our staff and patients is an absolute priority, and this has guided our proactive actions around fire safety improvements at Medway.

“Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy there was increased scrutiny of fire safety across all public sector services and buildings, as well as greater vigilance concerning fire prevention.

‘’We considered what other actions were necessary to accelerate delivery and augment the safety of the hospital, and we have put in place many measures which have made the hospital safer.

“The next step is to replace cladding which is coming towards the end of its life. The Trust has decided to undertake this work to ensure the buildings are as safe as possible. The ‘boarding’ and other works already carried out have enhanced safety, and replacing the cladding will make the building as safe as it can be.

“Patient care will not be affected by the works and the hospital will remain open and operational at all times.”

  • Summary:

    Medway NHS Foundation Trust has appointed a contractor to carry out work to replace cladding on part of the hospital. The buildings date from 1999, and the cladding is therefore reaching the end of its life and is due for replacement.