Grenfell: Multiple NHS trust buildings fail fire safety tests on cladding

Credit: David Mirzoeff/PA

The buildings of three NHS trusts have failed urgent fire safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, according to NHS Improvement.

The failings were revealed after test samples taken from an office building at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a building at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and a North Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust building all failed combustibility tests.

It comes as a total of 38 organisations - including the three that have failed testing - were identified as requiring support in carrying out urgent checks to determine if they had similar cladding to the type used on Grenfell Tower.

The 38 organisations requiring support to carry out urgent checks, classed as 'priority 1’ trusts, have started 24-hour fire warden patrols and were identified after all NHS trusts and foundation trusts across the country were asked to carry out urgent fire safety checks following the Grenfell disaster.

Of this 38, 19 have had a review and no further action is needed at this stage, 11 are not required to take further action at this stage "as the building material sampled is not aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding", five are still awaiting combustibility test results, and three have failed the tests and are taking action.

A spokesperson for NHS Improvement said on Tuesday that “patient safety is paramount" and stated "there will be no disruptions to patient services or continuity of care" as steps are being taken to remove the cladding from all three buildings that had so far failed.

It comes as the number of high-rise buildings with cladding that have failed fire safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell fire continues to rise - with 190 samples sent in for testing having failed.

So far there has been a 100% failure rate of samples sent in for assessment as urgent tests being carried out on blocks following the fire that killed at least 80 people continues.

Tests on cladding across the country are still underway Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

The new leader of the council in charge of the Grenfell Tower aftermath apologised on Tuesday for its response to the deadly blaze, saying it failed its community "when it needed us most".

Elizabeth Campbell said she offered "no buts, no ifs, no excuses" and was "truly sorry" for how Kensington and Chelsea Council had reacted to support survivors of the blaze and other local residents in the aftermath.