Revealed: 20 Redbridge care homes failed to meet fire safety standards after Grenfell Tower fire
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 May 2019
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Twenty care homes in Redbridge were found to be failing to meet fire safety standards during inspections by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) after the Grenfell Tower fire.
Responding to the figures, obtained from a written answer by the Mayor of London, Londonwide Assembly Member, Tom Copley AM, urged care homes to "co-operate fully with the LFB to get their fire safety standards up to scratch" to prevent any future incidents.
Regional data shows that 1,226 fire safety audits have been carried out by the LFB at care homes across the capital since June 2017 - 51 received an enforcement notice and 498 received a notice of deficiencies. The remaining majority of care homes were found to be 'broadly compliant' with fire safety standards.
Bromley had the highest number of care homes failing to meet fire safety standards, with 71 care homes either receiving a notice of deficiencies or an enforcement notice. At the other end of the scale, Hammersmith and Fulham had only five care homes that were found not to be up to scratch.
In Havering, 16 care homes failed to meet fire safety standards, along with eight in Barking and Dagenham, and 19 in Newham.
Londonwide Assembly Member, Tom Copley AM, said: "It is very concerning that some of the most vulnerable Londoners are being put at risk in this way. These inspections carried out by the LFB have been vital in highlighting, not only a local issue, but one that urgently affects the whole of our capital.
"Care homes have a duty of care to their residents. It is vital they co-operate fully with the LFB to get their fire safety standards up to scratch and take all possible measures to prevent any future tragedies."
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An enforcement notice is issued by the LFB where the inspector can identify on the premises a clear breach of the law, significant risk factors or improvements that can be made within a set period of time.
All care homes that received an enforcement notice, and those whose notice of deficiencies pointed to more significant failings, will receive a follow up visit from LFB to ensure the required improvements have been made.
Labour's London Assembly member, Andrew Dismore AM, who obtained the figures, said: "It is extremely concerning that in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, fire regulations are still being routinely flouted in the places that you would least expect them to be."
The LFB has confirmed that, as of March 2019, they have conducted follow up visits at the 30 care homes that received an enforcement notice, with the remaining 21 sites to be checked on in the near future to give operators an opportunity to fix the problems. All 30 care homes the brigade has returned to so far have been deemed "broadly compliant".
LFB's assistant commissioner Dan Daly said: "Over half the care homes we inspected had to make improvements to their fire safety arrangements despite them housing some of London's most vulnerable residents.
"My main concern is that this audit is only the tip of the iceberg. Care home owners need to urgently review their fire risk assessments and ensure their staff know how to safely evacuate their residents, especially those who are immobile.
"If you were placing your loved one into the care of others, you would expect them to be safe but for too many people, the very roof they are sleeping under could put them at risk."
In his written answer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "In all cases, the responsible person for the premises is encouraged to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the local fire safety team to ensure sustained and robust fire safety management practices are maintained going forward."