EMBARGO: Immediate Release
The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to provide urgent clarity over whether any hospital buildings or wards could face being closed due to fears over dangerous concrete.
It comes as a number of schools have been told to shut buildings because they were at risk of sudden collapse due to dangerous concrete, after a concrete beam collapsed at a school in Sussex.
A Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats previously found there are 32 buildings at 18 NHS trusts fitted with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). In July 2023 a National Audit Office report found 41 buildings at 23 hospital trusts contained the material, with 7 structurally unsound and at risk of collapse.
The Liberal Democrats have asked the Health Secretary to clarify whether the government will be instructing hospitals with RAAC to shut affected buildings and wards at risk.
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:
“The public and NHS staff need urgent clarity over whether hospital wards and buildings could also face being closed because they contain unsafe concrete.
“It is a national scandal that children are being taught in crumbling classrooms while patients are treated in hospitals with roofs at risk of collapse.
“For years this Conservative government has failed to fix crumbling hospital buildings despite warnings they could have a potentially catastrophic impact on patient safety.
“This latest concrete scandal must act as a wake-up call for the government to finally replace dangerous roofs before it’s too late.”
Notes to Editor:
A previous Freedom of Information Request by the Liberal Democrats found 18 NHS Trusts have hospital buildings fitted with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). The FOI response from NHS England can be found here.