Crumbling concrete fears at host of new hospitals

3 weeks ago 42

props astatine  Hinchingbrooke HospitalImage source, Martin Giles/BBC

Image caption,

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, successful Huntingdon, Cambs, is made up of 90% Raac

By Nick Triggle

Health correspondent

A big of much hospitals person travel guardant to study they whitethorn person been built utilizing reinforced autoclaved aerated factual (Raac).

The authorities said it had ordered urgent surveys of tens of the sites and was moving rapidly to found the standard of the problem.

The NHS had already identified Raac astatine 41 sites successful England - including 7 hospitals with Raac throughout.

Steps person been taken for sometime to negociate the hazard of collapse.

But the latest hospitals came guardant aft the authorities wrote to NHS trusts pursuing quality immoderate schools were having to adjacent due to the fact that of concerns implicit the lightweight concrete, which has bubbles wrong similar "a cocoa Aero bar".

Used successful roofs, floors and walls betwixt the 1960s and 1980s, Raac has a constricted lifespan.

'Non-patient areas'

Chief fiscal serviceman Julian Kelly told the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had been moving with the NHS connected Raac since 2019.

He refused to accidental however galore caller sites were present having to beryllium checked but it was successful the "tens" not hundreds and successful immoderate it was successful non-patient areas specified arsenic boiler rooms and offices.

"We are moving rapidly to bash afloat surveys," helium said.

And helium reiterated the government's committedness to eradicate Raac from the NHS property by 2035.

But MPs questioned whether this was speedy enough, pointing retired NHS trusts were having to walk immense sums propping up ceilings, closing wards and limiting diligent numbers successful buildings wherever Raac had been found.

Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, said dealing with Raac was requiring "eye-watering" measures costing millions of pounds.

Asked whether hospitals were safe, DHSC 2nd imperishable caput Shona Dunn said you could ne'er beryllium 100% definite but the NHS was pursuing authoritative Institution of Structural Engineers guidance.

The hospitals with Raac passim could not beryllium rebuilt earlier 2030, however.

"It's not a generous timescale," Ms Dunn added.

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