Care homes urged to review fire safety procedures following Grenfell Tower disaster

More than 17,000 care homes and hospices have been urged to review their fire safety procedures following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) wrote to care providers reminding them to review their fire safety processes “to ensure they are up to date and are being applied consistently in practice”.

Chief executive David Behan wrote: “As the regulator, our purpose is to ensure people receive safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care and to encourage improvement.

“In particular, I ask you to pay attention to the size and fabric of your registered premises.”

Around 200 NHS trusts have also been asked to report on their fire safety regulations.

The Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced that 120 tower blocks and 37 local authority areas have failed flammability tests.

The CQC said fire regulation breaches are commonly found in care homes, consisting of blocked fire exits, fire doors wedged open, and escape routes used as storage areas.

It also found several examples of low fire safety awareness among staff of proper procedures.

It is a legal responsibility under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to pay attention to the safety of the vulnerable and frail because of mobility issues or learning disabilities.

Further information regarding care homes’ legal responsibilities can be found here.