Fire alarm con­fu­sion ‘sham­bles’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Hospital Update - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

saw­illiams@thek­m­ 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

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