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NSW Health has been advised that cladding material installed on the Queanbeyan Hospital in 2008 may be Alucobond PE – a potentially combustible form of cladding.

The advice came late on Friday afternoon (8 September 2017), via an independent consultant engaged to conduct an inspection of the hospital to identify any potentially non- compliant aluminium composite panels.

NSW Health began a statewide audit of all hospitals and health facilities several weeks ago and this urgent review is continuing.

Pending written confirmation of the verbal report regarding Queanbeyan, anticipated to take two weeks, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Minister for Health, has sought urgent further assessment.

Chief executive of NSW Health Infrastructure, Sam Sangster, said Queanbeyan Hospital was being further assessed this weekend.

Construction of the 47-bed Queanbeyan Hospital occurred in 2007/08 and the building has operated without incident since it was constructed. 

“It had a Building Code of Australia certificate issued in 2008 and at that time the building was compliant with applicable standards. However the Ministry of Health is now reviewing compliance against contemporary fire safety knowledge,” Mr Sangster said. 

“The NSW Ministry of Health and the Southern NSW Local Health District treats patient and staff safety as a priority and wish to reassure the community that these issues are being addressed as a matter of priority.” 

The Southern NSW Local Health District  has implemented extra fire prevention safeguards at Queanbeyan Hospital, including;

-       informing local fire authorities of the potential risk

-       initiating additional operational management controls to ensure patient and public safety

-       seeking professional advice on removal of cladding as an interim measure

-       employing additional full time security staff to monitor the hospital

 MEDIA: NSW Health media (02) 9962 9890

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