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"inappropriate fire alarm"

About: Acute and urgent care / Inpatient wards

(as a parent/guardian),

My child and I attended an outpatient mental health appointment at the Richmond Royal outpatient hospital in Richmond on Wednesday afternoon. while we were waiting the fire alarm went off. It apparently is a test done every week.

However, I was outraged because the sound of the alarm is that of the panic alarm at inpatient psychiatric hospitals. My child flipped out and I had to run out to get them and calm them down. They almost didn't go into this key appointment. The other patient in the waiting room, who was middle-aged, was also upset by it.

I think you need to put in an alarm with a different kind of sound. We couldn't believe that the administrators could have that kind of alarm sound. It's triggering. It's the sound when an inpatient has escaped a locked facility; somebody is being attacked; someone is endangering themselves; or there is a violent situation so that all staff come running.

Please change it.


Response from Claire Reid, Senior Patient Experience Co-Ordinator, Patient Experience Team, South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Anonymous parent,

My name is Claire and I am the Engagement and Experience Co-ordinator at the Trust. I want to apologise for not being able to respond to your post straight away. I passed your comments straight onto the relevant managers to gain a response to post to you.

The facilities manager explained to me that sirens are used as they penetrate hearing more than a bell, which is to prompt a rapid response. The manager has informed me that the reception area will be putting up posters announcing that the fire alarm will be tested every Wednesday at 2pm.

Unfortunately we cannot change the system sound as yet but please be assured that the Trust is reviewing the Trust’s estates and this feedback will be seriously considered as part of our transformation strategy in improving our facilities.

Many thanks


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful