Calls to pay for false call-outs

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - Goolis­tan Cooper

LON­DON Fire Brigade is de­mand­ing that the NHS Trust re­spon­si­ble for Hilling­don and Mount Ver­non Hos­pi­tals cough up thou­sands of pounds for false call-outs.

The fire ser­vice said Hilling­don Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust was among the worst of­fend­ers in the cap­i­tal for false alarms in 2014 – with 44 call outs to the two hos­pi­tals last year.

Neil Or­bell, head of fire safety at the LFB said: “This is not a mon­ey­mak­ing scheme and the last or­gan­i­sa­tions we want to charge are hos­pi­tals. How­ever we are called to over 30,000 false alarms ev­ery year and some hos­pi­tals we go to nearly ev­ery week.

“We want to work with hos­pi­tals on this is­sue which is why we will wait un­til the tenth call be­fore we start to re­cover our costs. We also work with them to see how they can im­prove the main­te­nance and man­age­ment of their au­to­matic fire alarm sys­tems.”


A spokes­woman for Hilling­don Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said: “The Trust was is­sued with 19 in­voices - six of th­ese have been passed on to lease hold­ers at Mount Ver­non as the call-outs were as a re­sult of their ac­tions.

“We want to elim­i­nate all false-alarm calls and have im­proved the man­age­ment of our fire alarm sys­tems to pre­vent un­nec­es­sary costs to our hos­pi­tals.”

Last Jan­uary, the LFB be­gan re­cov­er­ing £295 for the 10th false alarm at­tended at the same site within a 12-month pe­riod and for all sub­se­quent false alarm call outs.

That means the Trust would be billed £10,325. How­ever, the Trust says it is be­ing billed for 19 false call-outs, of which six will be paid by lease­hold­ers, such as hair­dressers, char­ity shop, nurs­ery and den­tist, based on its site.

This would mean the Trust pay­ing £3,385.

The in­tro­duc­tion of billing for false alarms has re­sulted in a 7.3 per cent drop in cases, but fire chiefs want to see greater im­prove­ments.

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