London Fire Brigade (LFB)/NHS Concordat Seminar
LFB Headquarters, Southwark - 30th September 2015
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1 – Welcome
AC Neil Orbell, Fire Safety (Statutory & Community), LFB
Hospital maintenance is very expensive and is subject to many different standards and pieces of guidance. What is your opinion of risk based maintenance in hospitals?
Where you can justify such an approach based on local knowledge and a sound risk based strategy, that is fine.
When can we expect a resolution to the UwFS process as we have not received the holding letter?
Holding letters have been issued to all Trusts appealing against a break glass related UwFS. LFB will check to whom the letter was addressed and confirm this with the Trust involved. The review process itself is complex, the legislation in this area is not clear and LFB must be happy with the decision before it can be communicated to the Trust. The information gathering process is complete but the decision in each case must be presented to LFB for ‘final approval’ before it can be issued to the Trusts in question. At present, LFB cannot put a timescale on when the process will be completed.
There appears to be a lot of inconsistencies and errors in invoicing for UwFS; some sites receive many, some none and some invoices that aren’t even for the Trust they are addressed to.
Apologies for the inconsistencies, LFB will address all the incorrect invoices with intent to place invoicing on a ‘proper business footing’.
2 – False Alarms - A Manufacturer’s Perspective
Mark Dawson, Key Account Manager (UK Sales Team), Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd
Will the new Soteria detector (and the flush version) be backward compatible with older systems?
We have a mix of Gent and Apollo detectors on our hospital site. Gent detectors are guaranteed for 20 years and their newer devices also integrate with emergency lighting. Is this something Apollo does or plans to do?
Apollo detectors are guaranteed for 10 years (but usually last a lot longer). There are no plans to integrate Apollo detection devices with emergency lighting but the feedback will be passed back to the management team for consideration.
3 – Future of the Concordat
Phil Gibbs, Inspecting Officer & Hospital Team Manager, Business Support Group, LFB
It may be appropriate for NAHFO to facilitate such meetings but do they have the recognition required to promote fire safety matters to the level required?
It could be argued that the Concordat doesn’t reach Trust Director level at present anyway.
4 - Fire Safety in Multiple Occupancy NHS Premises
John Brett, Head of Health, Safety, Security & Fire (London), NHS Property Services Ltd
Paul Digby, Area Health, Safety, Security & Fire Mgr, (NW London), NHS Property Services Ltd
What are NHS PS doing to ensure tenants co-operate with each other?
Where there are no NHS PS employees on-site most tenants are very good. Where there are NHS PS employees on-site, they will co-ordinate with other tenants to explain their responsibilities under the RRO 2005 and they can also call on the local enforcing authority to assist in explaining these requirements if necessary. Where sites such as Health Centres consist of many smaller tenants it is often more difficult.
Some larger employers in buildings prevent their employees from talking to other tenants so that they don’t take on responsibility for the RRO.
In such instances, NHS PS will go back to the larger employer to encourage engagement with other tenants in the building.
You have suggested that the local enforcement authority steps in to decide who is responsible. They have said that this should be defined locally and they will decide if it is appropriate when they inspect.
‘Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: Guidance Note 1’ defines this responsibility.
If 75% of tenants have no lease or licence, should you not look to introduce a lease or licence for all tenants that defines their responsibilities and those of the landlord?
Yes and this is something we are working on at present.
5 – Approved Inspections & Building Regulation Inspections
Paul Robinson, Harwood Building Control Approved Inspectors Ltd
6 – Royal United Hospital ITU Fire, Bath
Dr Mark Turner, Senior Anaesthetic Registrar, Southmead Hospital, Bristol
7 – Salvage Considerations – Who’s Responsible?
Paul Bishop, Chairman of NAHFO London Branch & Fire Safety Manager, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
I can see the value in being able to identify and locate valuable equipment but would it not place staff at risk by entering the building following a fire unless lead by LFB.
We wouldn’t expect a member of staff to re-enter an unsafe building following a fire. LFB will tackle the fire and only when they declare it safe would we consider salvage of valuable equipment, perhaps lead by LFB with direction from staff from the unit.
Following a fire incident there is often an exclusion zone in the area. If LFB is recovering valuable equipment it is likely they will have limited knowledge both of what to salvage and its location in the building.
Agree but this is why it is important to have detailed salvage cards, floor plans and asset locations recorded to make LFB’s job easier.
8 – Fire Door Maintenance: A Risk Based Approach
Mazin Daoud, Fire Safety Engineer, Sodexo ‘Quality of Life’ Services