Harrogate hospital receives £2m from NHS to tackle ‘crumbly concrete’
Jan 12, 2024
Harrogate hospital

Harrogate District Hospital has received £2m from NHS England to help remove RAAC, or ‘crumbly concrete’, from the site.

Last year Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, submitted a £20m funding bid to tackle the problem after engineers found 2,500 panels containing RAAC across the estate.

The £2m is the first element of the bid to be approved.

RAAC, which stands for reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, is a lightweight material that is less durable than traditional concrete and has a life expectancy of just 30 years before it runs the risk of collapse.

The first section of Harrogate District Hospital was built in 1975 during a period when RAAC was used in the construction of public buildings.

It’s been identified in a number of areas at the Lancaster Park Road hospital, including the therapy service department, two corridors, two plant rooms and an area which is not accessed by patients.

The £2m, which was approved on December 20, will be used to relocate services in the therapies department so the building can be demolished and rebuilt.

It will also be used to eradicate RAAC from a corridor within the hospital and will be spent on designs for future projects to remove the concrete.

A spokesperson for the hospital said

“We are following national Institution of Structural Engineers guidance regarding managing the risk posed by RAAC roofing and are doing all we can to ensure that any RAAC used in our buildings does not pose any threat to the safety of our patients, staff and visitors.

“We have mitigated risks that have so far been identified through remedial work, such as providing additional structural support where it is required. This work will continue to be undertaken to address any further issues that are found.

“Future work will include replacing or propping roofing as advised by structural engineers and annual surveys of all RAAC panels will continue to be undertaken.

“We are currently progressing further funding requests from NHS England to support work in 2024/25 and beyond.

“Patient appointments and elective activity have not been affected by the work being undertaken.”

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