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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Care homes issued safety warnings
Rosepark nursing home
The Rosepark blaze claimed 14 lives
The majority of Scotland's homes for the elderly have been told to improve fire safety, it has been confirmed.

The Scottish Executive launched a review of safety standards following the Rosepark Care Home tragedy earlier this year.

The fire claimed the lives of 14 pensioners at a care home at Uddingston, near Glasgow, in January.

The executive and the Care Commission said most of the improvements requested had been "minor".

The disclosure came in a written parliamentary answer to the Scottish National Party's Michael Matheson from Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry.

In some 80% of the visits, recommendations have been made about improvements in fire safety. These were generally of a minor nature
Hugh Henry
Deputy justice minister
Scotland has more than 1,800 registered care homes and the minister said that by 18 April, fire brigades had made advisory visits to more than 1,200 of these.

The visits were ordered after the Rosepark tragedy.

"In some 80% of the visits, recommendations have been made about improvements in fire safety. These were generally of a minor nature," said Mr Henry.

"The Care Commission has only moved to formal enforcement action in one case."

The Scottish Executive said the reason for the visits was to re-assure staff and residents while assessing fire safety.

In most cases, the recommendations related to materials left in corridors, curtains over fire doors and inadequate record-keeping of fire alarm tests, said an executive spokeswoman.

It is essential that the executive ensure that local fire authorities are provided with the resources to continue these visits
Michael Matheson
SNP MSP
"We take the issue of fire safety and prevention extremely seriously and hope that these continuing visits will serve to reassure care home residents in the wake of the Rosepark tragedy," she said.

But Mr Matheson said: "With some 65% of care establishments having now received an advisory visit from the fire service, it is concerning that in 80% of establishments recommendations for improvements have had to be made.

"It is essential that the executive ensure that local fire authorities are provided with the resources to continue these visits to ensure that the highest fire safety standards are being maintained."

A spokesman for the Care Commission said: "We are working with providers to help and support them in putting any necessary improvements in place," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Blaze tragedy victims remembered
14 May 04  |  Scotland
New crackdown after fire tragedy
18 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Chief condemns fire cover claims
02 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Care home blaze toll rises to 14
02 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Tributes paid to care home dead
01 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Inquiry into nursing home deaths
31 Jan 04  |  Scotland


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