A building housing 140 patients across four wards at Northern General Hospital will be closed for months after concerns were raised about fire prevention measures within its walls.
Two wards of patients have already been moved out of the Hadfield Building to other wards at Northern General Hospital this week, with a further two to go to the Royal Hallamshire this weekend.
After all the patients have all been moved, work will begin on the walls next week, with the renovation expected to take a number of months.
Hospital bosses say the decision was taken after exploratory inspection work on the walls of the building prompted them to seek advice from the fire service, who advised them work should be carried out as soon as possible.
But they stressed that the problems that have been found were not related to the building’s cladding, which was found to be safe after it was inspected following the Grenfell tower fire in London in which 72 people died.
Kirsten Major, interim chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take any advice from the fire service very seriously and so have planned to start the work at the earliest opportunity.
“This advice is not due to any new sudden increased risk of a fire starting in the building it is more concerned with fire protection measures inside the walls which would limit the impact of a fire.
“The work will inevitably cause a level of disruption which cannot be avoided and advice from the fire service is that patients and staff need to be re-located.”
“Clearly reducing the facilities available for patient care for a period of time and also relocating patients, needs very careful planning and we will be ensuring patients and staff are informed and supported over the weekend as we begin to relocate them to other appropriate parts of the Trust.
“During the period it will take to relocate patients we are also enhancing fire prevention and protection measures such as onsite trained fire safety officers, regular checks and we will continue to have support from the fire service.”
“We feel this is important to provide additional reassurance for patients whilst we are in the process of relocating patients to other areas.”