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Fire safety concerns raised over new Hollybrook Nursing Home

8 November, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD


Sinn Féin Deputy Seán Crowe (Dublin South West) met with the District Officer Fire Chief that covers the Inchicore area on Sunday morning to discuss staff concerns about the proposed move of elderly women patients from St Brigid’s Nursing Home (Crooksling) to the new proposed facility in Hollybrook (Inchicore).

Crowe arranged the meeting after some staff expressed concerns following a tour of the new two storey premises, where they raised fire safety concerns. They claim that they were alarmed when they were told that the current plan for staff and patients would be for them in the event of a fire to “stay in the building and wait for Fire Fighters” and that “the fire doors were designed to keep a fire at bay for up to two hours and this was the safest place for staff and patients to stay.”

Deputy Crowe said:

“On Sunday morning I arranged an urgent meeting with the District Fire Officer that currently covers the Inchicore area. This was in response to legitimate concerns raised by staff of St Brigid’s, Crooksling following a tour of the new proposed HSE premises in Hollybook, Inchicore.

“The tour of the two storey building was organised to familiarise staff with the facility where Health Service Executive (HSE) proposes to transfer 50 patients currently being cared for in St Brigid’s.

“When questions were raised by staff in relation to the fire plan for the new two storey building they told to ‘stay in the building and wait for Fire Fighters’ and that ‘the fire doors were designed to keep a fire at bay for up to two hours and this was probably the safest place for staff and patients to stay.’

“The Hollybrook building currently has a lift and one staircase. How are staff supposed to keep patients safe in this scenario particularly high dependency patients who are suffering from various degrees of dementia and many who are not mobile?

“The HSE staffing levels for this building would be approximately three nurses for every 20 to 22 patients.

“I outlined my concerns with the District Fire Officer about the building, the fire plan as outlined to staff and asked if even a Fire Certificate for the change of use of these new premises had been applied for by the HSE.

“The District Fire Officer said in view of the staff concerns and the type of patients being moved to Hollybrook that he would familiarise himself with the building and investigate my concerns.

“I have no doubt there would be absolute bedlam if a fire was to break out in these premises. The current fire plan as outlined to staff is absolute madness and couldn’t be taken seriously by any sober individual.

“The HSE needs to allay fears of staff and relatives in relation to this move and look again at the type of patient that might be suitable for this new two storey building.

“The patients currently in St Brigid’s don’t seem to me to be suitable for this particular building.” ENDS

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