Setting the standard for fire safety

Dedicated fire and rescue service workers have been praised after creating a new standard of practice to keep hospital patients across the country safe.

The Primary Authority team within the Fire Safety Department at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) work with businesses every single day.

They make sure businesses have fire safety measures in place to comply with legislation and keep our communities safe.

In a recent project, the team have been working with National NHS Property Services to ensure their evacuation plans of inpatients areas is up to scratch.

This would mean ill patients, some of whom would have mobility issues, can get to safety as quickly as possible.

They provided their expertise and helped rewrite the book on the plans – literally providing advice that will be replicated into national guidance.

Their efforts have been recognised as best practice and will inform how all hospitals in the country create and review their evacuation plans for inpatients.

And today (Wednesday) they’ve been praised by senior members of TWFRS who said it’s just another example of the amazing work of their staff.

Area Manager for Community Safety Richie Rickaby, said: “The team have worked so incredibly hard on this project and I’m not surprised that their work has been adopted as best practice.

“This advice is in place to save lives and I couldn’t be prouder that Tyne and Wear is once again leading the way.”

Neil Baugh, National Fire Safety lead at NHS Property Services has been working alongside the team on this project, added “When I first discussed producing a protocol for fire incident response at multi-tenanted NHS in-patient sites, the team quickly grasped the benefit of obtaining Primary Authority Assured Advise.

“Typical of their drive and enthusiasm, they managed to secure the official advice very quickly.

“Not only is the protocol being used to support fire evacuation procedures on existing sites, but it is also destined to find its way into yet more formal advice, as an exemplar in the revised suite of Fire Code (HTM) documents.”

This new way of doing things focuses on using regulations in a positive way and creates practical and safe plans for evacuations should a fire break out in a hospital.

The team recently won an award in recognition of their hard work with NHS Property Services to help keep our hospitals safe in an emergency.

Back in May, they were the proud winners of the Regulatory Excellence Partnership award at the Regulatory Excellence Awards.

This award focused on another piece of fantastic work alongside the NHS Property Services where they advised and guided NHS staff to improve Fire Safety provisions.