Midland Hospital under priority review over potentially flammable cladding

The entrance to St John of God Hospital in Midland.
The entrance to St John of God Hospital in Midland.

MIDLAND Hospital is among 11 WA hospitals subject to a priority review for potentially flammable cladding in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell fire disaster in London that killed 72 people.

St John of God Midland Public Hospital chief executive Michael Hogan said while the public and private hospitals were designed to meet the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia 2012, a small number of cladding products may be non-compliant under the revised Building Code of Australia.

“As part of our focus on safety, we engaged external consultants to review the building following a number of high profile fires and advisory notes published by the Australian Building Codes Board,” he said.

“A recent report from the external consultants showed that while a small number of cladding products may be non-compliant, there is minimal risk due to our robust fire safety measures.

“While we are confident our fire safety strategy minimises risk, we will be working closely with the Department of Health to identify if any further measures need to be implemented.”

Mr Hogan said current fire safety measures included internal fire walls, an extensive sprinkler system, fire detection and alarm with direct connection to the local fire brigade, fire and smoke compartmentations and multiple exit routes throughout the facility.

Department of Health assessments on the 11 hospitals, which include Fiona Stanley, Royal Perth and King Edward Memorial, are due to be completed by mid-September 2018.

The WA health system has been working with the Building Commission as part of a state-wide review of both private and public buildings to identify buildings where potentially dangerous cladding may have been used in their construction.

Any hospital identified as having non-compliant cladding materials will be subject to a Preliminary Fire Risk Assessment and appropriate fire preparedness measures will be adopted in the interim.

Work is set to start to remediate a section of cladding at Rockingham General Hospital after aluminium composite panels were found to not satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

Earlier this year the State Government announced amendments to the Building Code of Australia would ensure all future external walls of high-risk buildings are either non-combustible or be the subject of a full-scale fire test to demonstrate their acceptable performance.

List of outstanding hospitals to be assessed

• Fiona Stanley Hospital

• PCH

• KEMH (Neonate Unit Expansion)

• KEMH (Maternal Foetal Assessment Unit)

• QEII (Adult Mental Health Unit)

• Osborne Park Hospital

• Kununurra District Health Service

• Busselton Health Campus

• Narrogin Health Campus (Entry area only)

• RPH (A Block extension)