"Fire Alarm"

About: Southmead Hospital

I am writing concerning the fire alarm that activated on Friday 25th July at 1pm. The hospital staff were apparently unaware of it. Doors were locked and we were trapped inside the Burns Unit. This was quite a disturbing experience. Staff and patients were kicking the doors to try and open them, they did not even know the fire alarm had gone off! No announcement was made over the intercom. After two to three minutes the doors were opened. My appointment was for 1pm. We were told to wait in the corridor for 20 minutes before a nurse appeared. My son used a Southmead Hospital wheel chair to take me to the Burns Department as the distance is far too great for me to walk. When we came out of the appointment the chair had disappeared along with the money – we were left stranded. These are all worrying circumstances for an elderly man

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear CVG – thank you for your feedback on your experience at Southmead hospital. I am sorry that you were concerned by the fire alarm incident. Staff have been given full training on the fire procedures, which relies on the use of “isolation and safe areas” and is regularly tested. This is why you will have been excluded from certain areas and I regret that the communication around this was so poor. We have received comments on this before and the Trust is working to improve patient and visitor information to avoid your experience for others. I also regret that your wheelchair was taken. The deposit system was introduced to avoid the chairs being stolen and since its introduction this has meant there have been many more chairs available for patients to use. I hope that a member of staff was able to assist you once you realised your chair had been taken. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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