NHS boards have been told to obtain extra assurance around the risks to unsafe concrete beams in their estate, following the sudden closure of school buildings.
HSJ understands there was a call between national leaders and trust bosses yesterday, to ensure there are additional assessments of the risks around “reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete” in the NHS estate.
As part of this, trusts which have already identified the beams in their buildings have been told to plan for potential “RAAC failure, including the decant of patients and services where RAAC panels are present in clinical areas”, and to note the learnings from an “evacuation plan” that was tested in the East of England.
Around 40 hospital buildings across 23 trusts are currently understood to be affected by these lightweight panels, which can be on roofs, floors and walls.
Trust estates’ teams will already have undertaken assessments and have plans to mitigate the risks, with the government already providing a £700m fund to mitigate immediate safety risks until 2025.
But in light of fresh concerns around RAAC planks in school buildings, national leaders have asked for additional assurances to be obtained.
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Source: HSJ, 5 September 2023