To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients were affected by closures to sites as a result of the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in each of the last five years.
No whole hospital sites have been closed due to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). The National Health Service 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 in the NHS estate.
The nature of hospital sites, typically with a large estate footprint and a range of ongoing maintenance programmes, means mitigation works can be carried out with relatively minimal service disruption, including relocating wards where necessary. Reducing the availability of advanced clinical settings could cause potential harm to patients. Keeping capacity open but being scrupulous about RAAC monitoring and mitigation until the RAAC can be removed is fully in line with the current evidence and recommendations of the Institute of Structural Engineers.