Fire alarm confusion ‘shambles’
email@example.com Patients, visitors and staff were left standing outside the William Harvey Hospital in the heat on Sunday after the fire alarm went off.
People were evacuated from several wards, including the A&E department, Kennington ward, the Richard Stevens stroke unit and the Kings C2 ward after the alarm started ringing at about 2.30pm.
Martin Hoey Davey, who was at the hospital to pick up his mother, said: “It was a complete shambles. They had everyone waiting outside in the heat for more than 40 minutes.”
In the end, it was discovered that the false alarm was triggered by a faulty control panel in one of the temporary theatres.
A spokesman from East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust said: “There was a fire alarm throughout the William Harvey Hospital due to the activation of the alarm in the new temporary theatre.
“Even though there was no evidence of a fire in any depart- ment, several departments did evacuate.
“The fire alarm was attributed to a fault in the control panel.”
It was also discovered that a further fire alarm was sounded by a member of staff who believed people were re-entering the hospital too early.
The spokesman added: “Another contributing factor was a member of staff activated the alarm in her department because no one had informed her that she could bring her staff back to theatre following the subsequent fire alarm.
“Due to the variable nature of the responses to the alarms, the hospital manager at the William Harvey Hospital is planning an urgent meeting to refresh the senior clinical teams, review policy and procedures, and set up additional training for the ward areas as required.”
Patients and visitors were evacuated from the William Harvey Hospital on Sunday