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Fire risk assessments with Hull NHS

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What does your department do?

We monitor the Trust for fire compliance, carry out fire risk assessments across two large sites, and advise our Estates Department and our Capital Development Departments on all refurbs, alterations and new builds, on what they should be doing to be fire compliant.

We also advise Estates on all fire doors, fire dampers and all electrical components that are required for fire safety in a hospital are operational and maintained correctly.

How do you use BORIS to do that?

We have used it for a number of years now, for recording our fire risk assessments. Every year all our wards have a fire risk assessment carried out, throughout our two major sites all areas are recorded on BORIS and that stores all our information, plans and actions for the fire safety work that is carried out on the wards and departments. That’s very helpful, every year the lads take a copy with them & they’ll do another risk assessment if anything has changed.

We also started using the BORIS system for our Security Department because every time we have a fire alarm activation I need to have that information logged so you helped us put together a Fire Alarm Activation Form. This is emailed out to key members of staff to let everybody know that we have had a fire alarm activation, when it happened, where it happened, why it happened and the Fire Safety Team members can then investigate further to find out more information as to what went wrong and how we can stop it happening again, so that’s been a big help.

We used to have a paper system but it didn’t work very well, and then we went onto a hybrid system and that didn’t work very well. So we eventually got the BORIS system and that’s worked very well.

How long have you been using BORIS?

It must have been 8 or 9 years

How does it help your business, how have things changed since moving away from pen & paper?

Well, it’s far easier to keep the records in one place, and it’s far easier to pull the information up if we have an inspection by the fire service, we can tell them when it was done, what we found, we can send it to people. It’s easy to be able to access the information quickly and send people a copy if it’s required. It’s very simple, very easy, very quick.

What benefits do you think you experience from having gone digital?

It’s the time involved, before it was a lengthy process, very lengthy and very awkward, you have a problem with the paper system, people lose copies or they get damaged, with an electronic system it’s far easier. It has cut the time down that it used to take to do a fire risk assessment on a ward dramatically, it made it a lot, lot quicker and easier to do, it takes about a third of the time now.

How has that impacted your performance?

We created a rod for our own back, I think, when we started to get more successful, once we started to get on top of everything, we were then able to take on fire warden training and emergency response training provision for our Trust, that’s been a large bit of work that we’ve taken onboard, that’s where the savings in time went to. We wouldn’t have had the time to do that previously.

Where is that information used?

We send reports to ward managers, discuss in Committee meetings to report on what compliance level we are at, obviously if we have a CQC inspection they can request a copy of the fire risk assessments, or our fire rescue service want to go through the fire risk assessments. We do share them with people that need to see them.

Does it make it easier for you to lay your hands on that information?

Oh yes, definitely, I could be at home and somebody wants a fire risk assessment for their area because the paper copy has been taken, I can just send them another PDF copy for them to replace the original item that has gone missing, it’s far more superior.

Personally, I’m only looking from a fire perspective, but obviously this system has many other uses, like we said the Golden Thread for keeping all the documentation in one place which will be a marvellous thing if other departments get on board.