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Healthy fire safety partnership for London

Left to right: Phil Smith, Strategic Estates Advisor NHS London, the Department of Health’s Policy Lead on Fire Safety, Paul Roberts, and London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Steve Turek, with the concordat.
Phil Smith, Paul Roberts, and Steve Turek, with the signed concordat
New intiative seeks to improve NHS facility fire safety

NHS staff from hospitals and primary care trusts across London visited London Fire Brigade's training centre in Southwark on the 24th June, to discuss ways of making the capital's health venues safer.

The ‘Working together in partnership - Fire Safety Workshop' featured presentations from a range of experts including Paul Roberts, the Department of Health's Policy Lead on Fire Safety, and Nick Coombe, who heads up London Fire Brigade's Fire Safety Regulation Policy Team.

The event concluded with the signing of a revised concordat, which strengthens the relationship between London Fire Brigade, the Department of Health and NHS London and agrees that the three organisations will continue to work together to ensure health centres and hospitals comply with fire safety legislation.

London Fire Brigade and the health service has forged an increasingly close relationship since setting up the concordat in 2003 and the implementation of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and it's hoped this latest event will lead to further good work across a sector which manages hundreds of buildings serving millions of Londoners.

Steve Turek, London Fire Brigade's Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation said: "Ensuring businesses and organisations are aware of fire safety legislation is an important part of what we do, and today's event allows us to talk to the people at the front line of fire safety in the NHS. By working in partnership we can hopefully make all of London's health venues even safer for the people who use them.

"The concordat sets out how we will work together and has so far allowed London Fire Brigade to make real progress where we identify safety issues that need to be dealt with. When we have seen fires in NHS hospitals there have been no serious injuries, which shows that effective fire safety measures are in place."

DH Fire Policy Lead Paul Roberts said: "The Concordat has played an important role in raising fire safety standards across the NHS estate in London since 2003. This latest revision will ensure that fire safety remains high on the Department's agenda in putting safety and quality at the heart of the NHS. Despite the highly publicised fires that occurred in London last year - The Royal Marsden, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Chase Farm - there was no loss of life and no serious injuries, which demonstrates the commitment to fire safety in the NHS".

On the fire safety workshop, Phil Smith NHS London's Strategic Estates Advisor said: "Improving fire safety and reducing costs to both NHS organisations and the London Fire Brigade through unwanted fire signals is, whilst managed by a few in each NHS organisation, the responsibility of all NHS employees day in, day out. The high level of attendance at today's event shows the commitment of both the London Fire Brigade and NHS to continue to improve in both key areas and raise awareness in providing safe environments for healthcare provision."

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