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Rotunda’s fire system ‘technically end-of-life’

An audit of the Rotunda Hospital’s fire system found it was “technically end-of-life” and maintained by a “robust proactive maintenance programme but needs to be updated to new technology”.

A meeting of the hospital’s board in early February discussed a report on fire safety, which had been the subject of a detailed presentation to a hospital committee earlier this year.

“Ongoing fire safety works have replaced a number of aged electrical boards, which have eliminated potential fire hazards. Implementation of all recommendations would require a substantial investment of €1.2 million/€1.4 million. The recurring positive management of fire safety risks provides assurance on the ongoing management of these issues,” according to meeting minutes.

At the board meeting, the secretary manager outlined the context to the commissioning of the fire safety report. The board and management had been “proactive” in addressing fire risks, the meeting heard.

Measures taken included funding of €2.5 million provided by the board in 2018, “to be reimbursed by the HSE”, to upgrade and refurbish the neonatal intensive care unit following an electrical fire. In addition, electrical boards had been replaced at a cost of €150,000 “with a further board to be replaced in 2020”.

“There is an annual revenue spend of €150,000 on maintenance and fire safety training.”

However, the meeting also heard that the recommendations in the fire safety report “will need to be done on a phased basis”.

In the context of the report, the “unsatisfactory nature of funding of minor capital works by the HSE was raised”.

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