AN East Sussex NHS trust is seeking almost £14m to tackle fire safety concerns at one of its hospitals.

In an emergency application to NHS Improvement, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is seeking £13.68m to carry out fire compartmentalisation work at Eastbourne DGH.

The need for the works – intended to slow of a fire within a building – had been noted by  the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority, according to report considered by the trust’s board earlier this month.

An ESHT spokesman said: “We have submitted a funding application which will address the fire compartmentation issues at Eastbourne DGH over the next three years having originally planned to complete the work over a longer timescale.

“We have a number of mitigations in place to ensure patient safety in the short term, that East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services are aware of.

“We have the support of the Sussex and East Surrey STP [Sustainability and Transformation Partnership] for a share of the national STP funding for this investment.

“However, as a back-up we are also making an application to the Department of Health for a loan which will ensure we have a permanent solution in the longer term.”

The spokesman said the works would require hospital wards to be decanted and that the the trust would take the opportunity to carry out building maintenance at the same time as the fire safety works.

The trust is also seeking an additional £3.95m from NHS Improvement for essential medical device and backlog maintenance, the report said.

The DGH and Conquest at Hastings are the Trust’s two main hospitals.