Rotunda ‘continuing to mitigate’ fire safety issues

By Catherine Reilly - 27th Feb 2020 | 95 views

The Rotunda Hospital has had “continual engagement” with the HSE to fund recommendations from a fire safety report, “but funding outlay to date has been minimal”, according to a hospital spokesperson.

A fire safety report commissioned by the hospital outlined a requirement for estimated works of €1.2 million, including emergency lighting, detection, and alarm systems.

The Rotunda’s board meeting in November heard that “a response from the HSE to [the] fire safety report is awaited. Without funding it will not be possible to progress full remedial works relating to the report”, according to minutes.

A Rotunda spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI): “We have been working continually over the last number of years to address and mitigate fire safety issues. Annually, >€150,000 is expended on a recurrent basis on fire safety, maintenance/upgrade of equipment and training.

“We are currently in the middle of a phased programme to replace all electrical boards to meet current standards. Works completed in the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] were to address fire risks. We are in continual engagement with the HSE to fund fire safety report recommendations but funding outlay to date has been minimal. Some funding was received to address electrical boards.”

As previously reported in MI, the Rotunda received a draft campus-wide fire risk assessment in November 2017. The main points to be addressed were emergency lighting and detection, fire stopping, storage and housekeeping, fire extinguishers and signage.

Serious deficits in emergency lighting throughout the hospital were referenced in the fire assessment.

The assessment was undertaken following a fire at the NICU in 2017, which was caused by an electrical fault. All babies in the affected room were moved “with no adverse effects suffered by anyone”.

Speaking to MI last month, HSE CEO Mr Paul Reid said he found the aged infrastructure at the Rotunda “quite striking” during a recent visit.

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