News from Joanne McCartney: Fire safety standards lacking at 25 Enfield & Haringey care homes

15 May 2019

25 care homes in Enfield & Haringey were found to be failing to meet fire safety standards through London Fire Brigade (LFB) audits carried out following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Responding to the figures, obtained from a written answer by the Mayor of London, local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, urged care homes to “co-operate fully with the LFB to get their fire safety standards up to scratch” to prevent any future tragedies.

 

Regional data shows that 1,226 fire safety audits have been carried out by the London Fire Brigade 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.

 

On a local level, 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. On the other end of the scale, Hammersmith and Fulham had only 5 care homes that were found not to be up to scratch.

 

According to the London Fire Brigade Enforcement Policy Statement, a notice of deficiencies (NOD) does not carry any statutory force, but if the Responsible Person for fire safety on the premises fails to undertake the specified improvements, the LFB are able to take this into account during future inspections.

 

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.

 

The LFB have 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 have returned to so far have been deemed “broadly compliant”.

  

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

 

“It is very concerning that some of the most vulnerable members of our community 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”.

 

Notes to editors

  • Figures obtained by Andrew Dismore AM from a written response provided by the Mayor of London have shown that 10 care homes in Enfield and 15 in Haringey were found to be failing to meet fire safety standards through London Fire Brigade (LFB) audits carried out following the Grenfell Tower tragedy;
     
  • Regional data obtained by Andrew Dismore AM from a written response by the Mayor of London, show that out of 1,226 fire safety audits carried out by the London Fire Brigade at care homes across the capital since the Grenfell Fire in 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 has 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. On the other end of the scale, Hammersmith and Fulham had only 5 care homes that were found not to be up to scratch;
     
  • The London Fire Brigade Enforcement Policy Statement explains that a notice of deficiencies does not carry any statutory force, but if the Responsible Person for fire safety on the premises fails to undertake the specified improvements, the LFB are able to take this into account during future inspections. 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;
     
  • A Mayoral written response also confirmed that all care homes that received an enforcement notice and those whose notice of deficiencies pointed to more significant failings will be subject to a follow-up visit to ensure the required improvements were made;
     
  • It has been confirmed in another written Mayoral response provided to Andrew Dismore AM, that as of March 2019, follow-up visits have been conducted at 30 of the 51 care homes which received an enforcement notice and that each of these has now been deemed ‘broadly compliant’. In this Mayoral response, it has also been disclosed that there has been a review of the LFB’s enforcement policy to ensure that care homes that are responsible for a serious contravention of fire safety regulations and are issued with a notice of deficiencies, will now also receive a follow-up inspection;
     
  • Further email correspondence with the LFB has revealed that the remaining 21 sites will be checked on in the near future to give operators an opportunity to fix the problems;
     
  • Joanne McCartney AM is the London Assembly Member for Enfield & Haringey.

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