Lib Dem candidate calls on government to foot £20m Harrogate hospital concrete bill
Last updated Nov 9, 2023
Photo of Liberal Democrat candidate Tom Gordon outside Harrogate District Hospital.
RAAC campaigners Tom Gordon and Cllr Peter Lacey at Harrogate District Hospital.

The man who hopes to be Harrogate and Knaresborough‘s next Liberal Democrat MP has launched a campaign calling on the government to foot the bill for essential repairs at Harrogate District Hospital.

Tom Gordon, the Lib Dems’ parliamentary candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay MP, to highlight his concerns about the construction panels at the hospital made of RAAC.

RAAC reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete made headlines nationally recently after it was found to be a substandard component of many schools and hospitals built between the 1950s and 1990s.

Health officials estimated in September it will cost £20 million to eradicate “crumbly concrete” from Harrogate District Hospital, which was built in the 1970s.

A survey of hospital properties found 2,500 RAAC panels, and added that remedial works have been completed on 12 “high-risk” panels, with some theatres and corridors in the hospital made safe with props. The report said that further propping might be needed of panels that were in danger of collapsing.

Mr Gordon said:

“Every member of our community relies upon our local hospital, or knows someone that does. It is simply not acceptable that people are receiving care, or trying to work, in an environment where temporary props are require to stop crumbling concrete collapsing above their heads. This is scandalous.

“It beggars belief, the local NHS trust are having to bid for this money from NHS England and there is no guarantee they will get it. Where does this leave our patients, doctors and nurses if the bid is unsuccessful?

“Ensuring that our local hospital is fit for the future is a priority to me and many residents I’ve spoken with. People are outraged.

“The government must act and release the funds to fix this crumbling concrete crisis at our local district hospital at once.”

Residents can add their name to Mr Gordon’s letter to the Secretary of State online.

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