Hospital ward unopened due to fire safety concerns
THE WARD at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is ‘not being used for its intended purpose’ due to a range of fire safety concerns.
BBC News reported on the £3m ward, which was ‘designed to relieve’ the hospital’s winter intake but has been unable to be used for this purpose because of fire safety concerns, including ‘suspected regulation failings’ of the building. It currently houses a 28 bed ward, but is being used as a discharge lounge for patients, with Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH) stating that it was ‘addressing’ the issue.
A meeting of the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group raised the fire regulation issues, and noted that there was the possibility that there may not be ‘enough staff’ to the run the ward, with trust chief operating officer Nigel Lee stating that the additional work required ‘was being carried out as quickly as possible with minimum disruption to services’.
He added: ‘Our estates team is working hard with building control and fire regulators to address these issues. It is important to stress that, in terms of winter capacity, SATH has provided the expected capacity - and above expected capacity at peak times - for patients needing urgent care. Regulators are satisfied with current limited occupancy of the ward and we are making good use of this to support earlier patient discharge and improve flow from A&E.’