Posted on Wednesday 9 August 2017
In common with other trusts across the NHS, we were asked by NHS Improvement (NHSI) to identify aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding panels following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. Our initial investigation did not find any cladding of concern following testing but when we carried out further, more detailed, checks on our buildings we identified rain screen panels on the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s which we suspected included composite materials. As a result, a sample was sent to the Building Research Establishment (BRE).
It is now clear that the panels we submitted are of the type covered by the most recent BRE test and associated advice published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on Wednesday 2 August. As a result we will be carrying out remedial work, including the removal of cladding, in line with this DCLG advice.
Since receiving the initial result from the BRE test, we have sought expert advice, including from our own fire officers and the London Fire Brigade. The advice confirms that the building is safe for continued occupation (including the inpatients in the HCA Healthcare part of the Cancer Centre) because of the extensive fire protection systems in place.
The Cancer Centre, which opened in September 2016, is designed to the highest standards and includes full fire detection systems, sprinklers throughout and integral firefighting equipment. It is designed for both horizontal and vertical evacuation and has two fire escapes. The panels in question make up only 15% of the total surface area of the building and cover insulation on concrete columns and floor slabs.
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We will carry out remedial work including the removal of cladding to ensure that we comply with the new Government advice, to reassure our patients and the public and to make sure that the Cancer Centre continues to reflect the highest safety standards. This will be done as quickly as possible in a planned and measured way, with work likely to start this autumn. The safety of our patients, visitors and staff continues to be our highest priority.”
For more information, read our frequently asked questions (PDF 673Kb).