6th Dec, 2016

Councillor writes to Skanska urging for fire safety reassurance at UHCW

Shaun Reynolds 14th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A SENIOR councillor is calling on a project development and construction company to provide reassurance after it was learnt University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire has insufficient fire protection.

Coun Damian Gannon, chair of the health overview and scrutiny committee at Coventry City Council, has written to Skanska – the company responsible for constructing UHCW – to express his concern and disappointment.

It emerged insufficient fire protection at the hospital has resulted in an estimated £50million bill to make the site safer from fire risks.

An Observer source, who did not want to be identified, said three aspects of the building were identified for the work.

This included fixing ceiling piping throughout the hospital called ‘Girpi’ piping; fire protection materials in walls throughout the building; and the Mental Health Unit, which had already been forced to close wards at times due to the problem.

Coun Damian Gannon said it is paramount the public have a hospital building which is safe and fit for purpose and they have confidence this is the case.

He added: “Many people I have spoken to are really concerned especially given the cost to the tax payer of the hospital build.”

Coun Gannon’s letter calls on Skanska to provide assurances that they are not investigating or are aware of any other fundamental issues with the construction of the building which will require remedial actions

He is also asking them to explain how they are working with UHCW to address the issue and how the remedial work is being funded.

Coun Gannon said: “I will await their response with interest.

“If further issues do arise, I will be requesting Skanska to attend the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to explain the shortcomings with the hospital building and progress with the remedial work.”