Hospitals: Buildings

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, how many NHS trusts in England have sites containing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) that are deemed to pose a risk that could cause the loss of life or serious harm to staff or patients.

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

The National Health Service has been surveying sites and undertaking reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (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.

Through this remediation programme, RAAC has been completely eradicated in three sites across three trusts. In 24 sites where RAAC remains present, risk is mitigated through failsafe measures such as propping. This includes significant failsafe intervention in the seven hospitals that have RAAC throughout and will be replaced through the New Hospital Programme before 2030.

A further modest number of trusts have indicated since May 2023 that they have possible RAAC. Visual inspection has ruled RAAC out in four. The remaining have had RAAC visually confirmed and structural surveys are now taking place for technical classification of this RAAC. As new areas with RAAC are identified, monitoring and mitigations will be put in place where needed and panels will be removed over time.

We have allocated a total of £698 million for mitigation works, putting in place necessary remediation and failsafe measures, in all the affected trusts up to 2025. Funding is being allocated annually, based on NHS trust plans and delivery progress. There is ongoing engagement with trusts on a national and regional level to ensure RAAC is being fully identified across the NHS estate to protect patient and staff safety. To date there have been no injuries caused by RAAC incidents in the NHS acute estate.

We have committed to eradicating RAAC from the publicly owned NHS estate by 2035, protecting patient and staff safety in the interim period, with NHS approaching this on a ‘risk basis’ and prioritising NHS trusts of concern.

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