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Hospitals: Emergencies

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department provides to NHS trusts on the staff-to-patient ratio required to evacuate a hospital in an emergency. (281446)

The Department’s guidance on staff to patient ratios required to evacuate a hospital in an emergency is contained in “Firecode: Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 05-02 Guidance in support of functional provisions for healthcare premises”, published in April 2007, which has been placed in the Library.

Responsibility for ensuring adequate numbers of suitably trained personnel rests with the management of the local organisation. The guidance states that for any department or management unit, there should be a minimum of two staff present at all times. Where the number of patients exceeds thirty, the number of staff should be increased by one for every 10 (or up to 10) patients.

Prior to April 2007, the same information was contained in “Firecode: Health Technical Memorandum 81, published in 1987”.