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Dangerous NHS England hospital roofs ‘will not be fixed until 2035’

Dangerous roofs that could collapse at any time at hospitals across England will not be fixed until 2035, NHS bosses have admitted.

The disclosure came in NHS England’s response to a freedom of information request from the Liberal Democrats about hospitals that have roofs at risk of falling down on to staff, patients and equipment.

One of the hospitals used by Liz Truss’s constituents, the Queen Elizabeth in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, is at joint highest risk, with four dangerous roofs.

The roofs are built with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), a lightweight, cheaper form of material that one hospital boss has called “a ticking timebomb”.

Some hospital managers are so worried that their RAAC roofs could crash down without warning that they have had to install hundreds of steel props to hold them up.

Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, a hospitals group, said: “The prime minister acknowledged during the leadership contest that her own local hospital is falling apart and is being held up by stilts. Yet her government has not yet signalled any intention to give the NHS the urgent capital investment it needs to update its buildings and estates.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was “committed to urgently addressing any risks to patient and staff safety”.

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Source: The Guardian, 28 September 2022


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