Hospital chiefs ease Welwyn Hatfield residents' cladding fears

PUBLISHED: 12:09 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:04 10 July 2017

New QEII Hospital

New QEII Hospital

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Bosses at the Lister and New QEII hospitals have moved to reassure residents that cladding on their buildings is safe.

Lister Hospital.Lister Hospital.

Last month’s Grenfell Tower tragedy sparked fears nationwide after it emerged that the building’s cladding failed to meet fire safety regulations.

Councils have since been urged to submit high-rise samples to the Government, but it is understood that other buildings such as hospitals are also being assessed.

A North East Herts NHS Trust spokesman said: “With regard to the Lister, independent inspections undertaken to date on the Lister tower block’s main cladding deem it to pose a low risk.

“Work is now getting underway between the trust, local fire service and the Government’s testing laboratories to agree what next steps may be required.”

He also confirmed the 14-story building has five staircases as means of escape, as well as a top level alarm system, sprinklers, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers on all floors.

A spokeswoman for the Community Health Partnerships, which officially runs the WGC’s New QEII, said: “Our buildings are modern with the majority being low-rise (lower than five storeys), which have multiple fire escapes and the necessary fire evacuation equipment for less able patients.

“The QEII building does have cladding, made primarily of terracotta which is not the same combustible material as that of Grenfell Towers. As such, it is not currently required to be removed or sent for testing.”

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