Fire safety work at Eastbourne DGH to cost nearly £14million

Eastbourne DGH District General Hospital
Eastbourne DGH District General Hospital

Nearly £14million is needed to tackle fire safety risks at Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH).

In an emergency application to NHS Improvement, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) is seeking £13.68m to carry out fire compartmentalisation work at the DGH.

The need for the works – intended to slow of a fire within a building – had been noted by the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority, according to a report considered by the trust’s board earlier this month.

An ESHT spokesman said: “We have submitted a funding application which will address the fire compartmentation issues at Eastbourne DGH over the next three years having originally planned to complete the work over a longer timescale.

“We have a number of mitigations in place to ensure patient safety in the short term, that East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services are aware of.

“We have the support of the Sussex and East Surrey STP [Sustainability and Transformation Partnership] for a share of the national STP funding for this investment.

“However, as a back-up we are also making an application to the Department of Health for a loan which will ensure we have a permanent solution in the longer term.”

The spokesman said the works would require hospital wards to be decanted and that the trust would take the opportunity to carry out building maintenance at the same time as the fire safety works.

The trust is also seeking an additional £3.95m from NHS Improvement for essential medical device and backlog maintenance, the report said.