Police have launched an investigation into Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Police have launched an investigation into Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and problems uncovered by Channel 4 News range from the water supply to the fire safety system: "This is just the latest in a series of problems we have uncovered at the hospital during a six month investigation. We have discovered crucial basic flaws in the design of the building which have made it difficult to maintain life-saving equipment."

Less than a year before the hospital opened, though, a technical report raised concerns about fire dampers in buildings operated by the mental health trust. It stated: "There is no suitable safety procedure available to enable BBW [Balfour Beatty Workplace] staff [to] safely carry out maintenance". The report showed images of a damper sealed with tape, one propped open with a piece of metal, preventing it working in a fire, and others built into the wall so they couldn't be accessed for testing.

Just two months before the hospital opened in 2010, Balfour Beatty management were clearly worried. One emailed: "I don't need to tell anyone of the implications of not being able to test them [the dampers] for what is now 2 years." In June, the month the building did open, another manager raised concerns the main hospital building was also affected. "I anticipate we will have the same issue on the main acute [site]".

Throughout the hospital, fire dampers are supposed to close to stop a blaze spreading.

 
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