Fire safety standards 'falling short in Cambridgeshire trust'
06 January 2012
Posted by Samuel Couratin
Fire and other safety standards are not being met by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, it has been suggested.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned mental health executives that its inspectors have found problems such as fire doors being left propped open at one facility.
A formal warning has been meted out to the body after standards at its Fulbourn site were discovered to be "falling short of what people should expect".
"We will be returning to the trust to follow up on progress and, when we do, we will expect the trust to be able to demonstrate it has made improvements," stated Frances Carey, CQC Regional Director for the East of England.
Meanwhile, processes intended to ensure fire safety at healthcare facilities in Leicestershire meets required standards should be assessed, it is claimed.
According to the Chairman of the Leicester Mercury Patients' Panel, an incident at the Belgrave Health Centre highlights the need for a review to take place.
Ballu Patel stated he is pushing for fire safety procedures to be examined at all such facilities in the county.
The newly-opened Belgrave Health Centre suffered problems after a fire alarm went off and members of a patients' group were unclear about how one individual in a wheelchair was to be assisted from the second floor, leading him to suffer bruising when an evacuation chair was used.
He told the news source: "We must be sure staff are fully trained in fire evacuation and that there are fire marshals for every floor. In this instance, this doesn't seem to have happened."
In related news, the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council has announced publication of its 'Competency Criteria for Fire Risk Assessors', which is intended to enhance the standards attained by such individuals.
Comprising fire industry organizations, the body expects the sector to use the document to develop training courses and third party certification schemes.
A second document that could be completed by the end of this month will provide businesses with a guide to fire risk assessment and identifying competent risk assessors.
According to the Fire Industry Association, it has worked alongside the council on the new standards for risk assessors, providing the public with "a route to establish independent proof of competency".