Cladding Removed From Glasgow Hospital

10 August 2017, 19:28

queen elizabeth hospital glasgow

Cladding similar to that found on Grenfell Tower is to be removed from one of the UK's largest acute hospitals as a precautionary measure.

A type of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) was found on parts of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow during checks following the Grenfell fire in London in June which claimed around 80 lives.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said it has been assured the hospital is an extremely safe building by Health Facilities Scotland and their National Fire Advisor.

However the health board plans to remove the cladding "at the earliest possible opportunity" as a "purely precautionary measure."

It said: "The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is one of the most fire safe buildings in the country having been designed and engineered to meet building and fire safety regulations.

"Last month we brought in external technical advisers to give the Board further assurance on fire safety following concerns arising about external cladding as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire.

"As part of these further forensic checks we have identified a type of Aluminium Composite Material on parts of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital of a similar type to, but not the same as, Grenfell."

NHSGGC said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has also reassured it that fire safety audits carried out at the hospital were satisfactory.

It added: "However, as a purely precautionary measure, and to make sure the public, our patients and our staff have full confidence in the safety of the hospital we have taken the decision to remove the panels from the areas of the hospital where these panels are.

"The panels that will be removed are present in three external sections of the building and we are currently working with contractors and technical advisers to assess how this work can proceed at the earliest possible opportunity."

It said hospital management teams are working on plans to minimise the impact on patient care.

Police believe around 80 people died when Grenfell Tower was engulfed by flames.

In Scotland the Ministerial Working Group on building and fire safety held its fourth meeting on Thursday.

It is overseeing a review of building and fire safety regulatory frameworks with an initial focus on high rise domestic buildings, following the London tragedy.

The group agreed further research will be carried out to evaluate specific risks in high rise domestic buildings, consider the most vulnerable groups and recognise advances in technology.

The first aspect of this work will be to commission a detailed inventory of design features of all high domestic buildings in Scotland.

Communities Secretary Angela Constance chaired the meeting which Housing Minister Kevin Stewart, Health Secretary Shona Robison, Scottish Government officials and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also attended.

Ms Robison said: "Patient safety is paramount and that is why further forensic checks are currently taking place across the whole NHS estate in Scotland.

"Following the identification of a type of ACM on the QEUH of a similar type to, but not the same as Grenfell, I am reassured that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have decided that the material is should be removed as a precautionary measure."

NHSGGC has been assured by Multiplex, the main contractor for the hospital construction, that the insulation material used in QEUH - Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Insulation Boards - were properly installed to meet building and fire safety regulations.