Fifty-two inpatient beds are being moved from the John Radcliffe’s trauma unit after a fire safety review in the wake of the Grenfell tower tragedy.
The beds will be moved to wards within the hospital on Friday. The unit’s ground floor outpatient clinic area will remain open while the upper floors will continue to be used for office and storage space.
In addition, three trauma beds, which are specifically for people with hip fractures, have been made available at the Horton Hospital.
The number of trauma beds at the Horton had already increased to two at the beginning of July, but as a result of the current issue at the trauma unit, an additional bed has been added.
A report on fire safety was written by Trenton Fire after they were commissioned by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to make recommendations following a review of fire safety of cladded buildings on the trust’s four main hospital sites.
The decision to move the patients was made at an extraordinary board meeting of the trust on July 27.
While preparations are being made to move the trauma patients, extra fire safety measures have been put in place at the trauma unit including removing non-essential items which could be a fire risk, such as toasters; extra vigilance to keep fire exits clear; and agreement with the fire service that any alarm going off in the trauma unit will result in immediate attendance by the fire service.
The cladding is not the sole reason for patients being moved. A number of other fire safety issues have been identified such as measures to stop fire spreading between floors not being up to standard and concerns over being able to evacuate patients quickly enough in case of a fire.
Work on the unit is expected to take around a year.
Dr Bruno Holthof, chief executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our highest priority is the patients in our care and our staff who are dedicated in their care for those patients. In common with many other organisations with public buildings, the trust has been reviewing its fire safety procedures and systems following the tragic events in London. We will implement any changes necessary to ensure that our patients are safe.”