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On-site fire crew needed for Nightingale hospital

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AN on-site fire crew will be necessary to ensure the safe operation of the new Nightingale hospital, it has been revealed.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (28458202)

The government has admitted that the extra measure will be necessary for the £14.4 million new facility, which was officially opened earlier this month and is standing by to treat Covid-19 patients should this prove necessary.

Concerns about fire safety were raised in the States Assembly by St Saviour Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard, who said she had been contacted by a worried parishioner. Mrs Le Sueur-Rennard was told that all the necessary clearances for the Nightingale were in place, and government sources gave a similar answer when asked by the JEP.

However, a government spokesperson has subsequently confirmed there was an issue relating to fire safety, and that extra measures would be needed to satisfy these concerns.

‘Now that the building is complete, the process to acquire a fire certificate for the Nightingale Wing can be concluded,’ she said. ‘This is a temporary structure, built to different standards from those required for permanent buildings, so specially tailored cover is being provided by Jersey’s Fire and Rescue Service, as it is in UK field hospitals.

‘The issuing of a fire certificate will require an on-site fire crew when the hospital is accommodating patients. If that crew is called out on an emergency, cover will be provided by retained fire crews.’

Mrs Le Sueur-Rennard said that she was still seeking assurances about the facility being able to meet requirements and said she would be raising this further with the Health Minister, and at the next meeting of the Constables’ Committee.

The Nightingale, which will serve as a wing of the General Hospital, was constructed in five weeks at Millbrook playing field.

The capacity of the facility is 180 patients, with scope to expand this to 240 if necessary. However, with fewer than ten Covid-19 patients currently requiring hospital treatment, and the General Hospital being less than 50% full overall, the Nightingale remains on standby at present.

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