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04
Sep

Cladding review launched at Oxford University Hospitals NHS FT


Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that intrusive surveys of the cladding at the Children's Hospital at the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Cancer and Haematology Centre at the Churchill Hospital will start this month.

 

A routine survey at Oxford Children's Hospital found the facades of the building were not built with the cladding specified in the design. The Trust and the PFI provider, The Hospital Company (THC), have worked closely with Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service (OCCFRS) to put in place fire safety mitigation measures to ensure that the buildings are safe and that patient care is not interrupted. These measures include hourly fire safety walkabout checks to enforce good practice and housekeeping measures, such as ensuring corridors are clear.

 

The intrusive surveys will take approximately 12 weeks and involve removing sections of panelling in four areas of the Children's Hospital building. The panels will be replaced once the area has been surveyed. Removing the panelling will enable engineers and designers to obtain detailed information of the building's construction so that they can design new cladding for any that needs to be replaced.

 

Once the intrusive surveys are complete this will inform the full programme and cost works that will be met by the PFI provider for the next phase. It is likely to involve replacement of some or all of the cladding on the West Wing and the Children's Hospital.

 

The cost of putting right the defects will be met by THC.

 

Two sets of work will also begin at the Churchill Hospital. There will be borescope surveys of the cladding around the full perimeter of the building and, in addition, sections of cladding will be removed and replaced from two areas along the western elevation.

 

The intrusive surveys will take approximately two to three months and involve either a simple borescope survey of the ventilated cavities or may involve removing some panelling. The panels will be replaced once the area has been surveyed. These surveys will enable engineers and designers to obtain detailed information of the building's construction so that they can design the best solution to remedy any defects they uncover.

 

In the other work at the front of the building (western elevation), removing and replacing the cladding panels in two locations is targeted to conclude in early 2020. The two areas are adjacent to the Churchill Intensive Care Unit and the North East Stairwell. No interim fire safety mitigation measures are needed at this site.

 

The cost of the survey and replacement work will be met by the PFI provider, Ochre Solutions Ltd (OSL).

 

The Trust says detailed plans for these surveys have been put in place so they can be achieved with minimal disruption to patient care and to maintain the safety of patients, staff and visitors. Staff on the affected wards have been fully briefed on what to expect and fire safety mitigation procedures will continue.

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