THREE fires broke out at the Dudley Group hospital trust during the last year, figures show.

The Liberal Democrats sent freedom of information requests to every hospital in the country and of the 84 that responded – around 41 per cent – reported 290 fires between mid-2022 and summer of this year.

This included three at The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

Across England, these trusts also reported 337 broken fire alarms and more than 4,000 false fire alarms.

However, the Dudley Group had no out-of-service fire alarms over the past year.

Separate figures – also compiled by the Liberal Democrats – show 115 chemical leaks over this period across 70 hospitals, although none of these were at the Dudley Group.

The trust did suffer a chemical leak in February 2020, however, which prompted the temporary closure of Corbett Outpatients Centre in Stourbridge and saw emergency crews flood the scene. Luckily, nine people showing symptoms related to the incident were discharged at the scene and one woman was taken to Russells Hall Hospital as a precaution and discharged later that day.

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has not responded to a request for comment about the three fires that occurred over the last year.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said of the FOI findings on fires and chemical leaks: “Patient safety is our top priority and we are investing record sums to upgrade and modernise NHS buildings so staff have the facilities needed to provide world-class care.

“This includes £4.2 billion last year and a further £8.4 billion over the next two years to allow trusts to invest, refurbish and maintain their buildings.

“We are also building 40 new hospitals by 2030 through the New Hospital Programme, which is now expected to be backed by over £20 billion.”