Armidale Hospital building not compliant with fire safety standards

The hospital building was officially opened in April 2014 and was constructed the previous year.
The hospital building was officially opened in April 2014 and was constructed the previous year.

One building in the region has found to be non-compliant with fire safety standards, and it was only built in recent years.

The $8 million chemotherapy and ambulatory care building at Armidale Hospital was opened in 2014, but when NSW Health conducted an audit of its buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, it was the only building in the region that didn’t pass.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said he learnt of the issue when he was contacted by NSW Health on Monday morning.

It was the only building in the New England or North West region that failed to meet the fire-safety standards. 

While it was only built four years ago, Mr Marshall said his understanding was that it met the building requirements at the time.

But he said it did not quite meet the standards that were introduced following the London fire.

The Northern Tablelands MP said he had not been informed of the exact problem in the building, but he said there was no immediate risk to patients or staff, and work would commence this week to address the problem.

“The non-compliance issues were of such a minor nature, that there is no immediate risk, but over the coming weeks those issues will be remedied, to make sure that building meets the most stringent fire-safety regulations.

“I’m actually reassured that the non-compliance issues are of such a minor nature that the building will continue to be used, staff will continue to work in there as per normal and those non-compliance issues will be remedied in the next few weeks.”

He said if the problem had been serious, the building would have been shut down immediately until the cladding was replaced

“The work may require replacement of some of the cladding, but not all, but it may not require replacement of any of the cladding.”

The Grenfell Tower fire claimed at least 80 lives, after the flammable cladding on the building caught alight.