King George Hospital
Contract Value: £370,000
Checkmate Fire won a competitive tender to survey the complete site at King George Hospital in Ilford, looking at all aspects of fire stopping and compartmentation.
Working in a live hospital environment poses a number of challenges, which have to be handled properly in order to ensure that patients, staff and visitors remain safe and as undisturbed as possible.
As Checkmate has extensive experience of working on NHS sites, our team at King George carefully considered issues such as public access, security, vulnerable people, cross contamination, access to theatre areas, timing of works, noise and vibration control during the planning stage of the project.
The survey was divided into two phases, based on the available budget, level of risk and access.
Scope of Work
Phase 1 was completed during shut down in the theatres, which allowed Checkmate’s passive fire protection specialists to gain access to usually busy areas of the hospital without intrusion into its day-to-day activities.
As parts of this phase of the project involved working above beds and theatres that were in use during the day, our team scheduled night and weekend visits. In addition to avoiding noise issues, working out of hours also helped with issues such as dust control, clean-up and prevention of cross contamination in critical controlled areas during both surveying and remediation work.
Our approach meant that other than the ward managers who we worked closely with when drawing up a timeline for the work, King George’s patients and staff were largely oblivious to the fact the Checkmate team were on site assessing and improving compartmentation across the hospital estate.
While the initial part of the project focused on identifying and dealing with existing issues with passive fire protection, Phase 2 looked more closely at how to maintain high standards. Our team worked with the Fire Safety Manager and hospital project team to help them spot the potential for future breaches of compartment walls, ceilings and floors, and to develop a procedure to minimise any damage.
Checkmate completed a full site survey and repaired a number of breached fire compartments. These improvements to the buildings’ fire integrity were achieved without disruption to the everyday activities of the hospital.
Among the solutions the Checkmate team implemented was the use of speed sleeves, which allow cables to be run through walls without compartments being breached. As well as installing the sleeves, we supplied the Site Manager with detailed drawings of where they are located to help with the planning of future services.
On our recommendation, the site’s Fire Safety Manager now operates a Permit to Work system with a register for new contractors to monitor all works that might break the newly remediated compartment walls.
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