Hospitals: Safety

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 19 September 2023.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to mitigate the risk of a hospital building collapse resulting from structural safety issues.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The National Health Service conducts regular surveys of its estate to assess the state of the building fabric. These surveys cover a wide range of structural assessments. With reference to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), the NHS has been surveying sites and undertaking RAAC mitigation work since 2019 and has had an active national remediation programme since 2021 to mitigate and monitor the risks posed by RAAC across the NHS estate.

The NHS has a capital budget of £4.2bn this year for trusts and integrated care systems to use to address capital priorities in response to these surveys. The NHS already has a comprehensive mitigation plan in place for hospital buildings with RAAC, including significant additional funding worth £698m from 2021 to 2025 for trusts to put in place necessary remediation and failsafe measures, such as propping, as well as to eradicate RAAC in non-whole hospital sites.

NHS England has issued guidance for trusts nationally on how to establish the presence of RAAC in their estate. There is ongoing engagement with trusts on a national and regional level to ensure RAAC is identified across the NHS estate. Where structural surveys identify RAAC in their estate, trusts are inducted into the national remediation programme.

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