Peterborough City Hospital fire safety works completed two-and-a-half years after enforcement notice served

Peterborough City Hospital exteriors
Peterborough City Hospital exteriors
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Fire safety works at Peterborough City Hospital have been completed two-and-a-half years after an enforcement notice was served.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service had issued the notice in March 2016 after becoming aware that defects at the hospital were more extensive than first feared.

The faults, which were first discovered in December 2014, increased the risk of a fire spreading, but not of a fire occurring in the first place.

The hospital said it now expects the fire service to have removed the improvement notice by the end of this month, and that all works have been funded by its PFI (Private Finance Initiative) providers, and not taxpayers’ money.

Eric Fehily, associate director of estates and facilities at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “The work involved a series of adaptions and improvements including alterations to fire doors, compartment walls and fire dampers.

“All work was funded by our PFI providers as part of the agreement to resolve the issues uncovered in the original survey in 2014. It has taken two years to complete due to the complexity of the work required and the number of defects to be rectified, and the fact it’s had to take place in a fully operational hospital.

“There will be no financial cost to the trust for the works that have been carried out as these works related to the original construction agreement.”

A fire service spokesman said: “We have been working closely with the hospital trust to ensure the required fire safety improvements are completed. Our fire safety officers have been in regular contact with staff providing guidance and support and we anticipate the final stages to be signed off in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, new chief executive Caroline Walker told a recent public meeting of the board of directors that the anticipated overspend for the trust this year could be as high as £40 million. Moreover, a dedicated Discharge Lounge for patients leaving the hospital was revealed.