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Medway Maritime Hospital added to list of 42 sites with confirmed reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)

A risk assessment was carried out at a Kent hospital after potentially unsafe concrete was identified.

The Medway Maritime Hospital has been added to a list published by the Department of Health of 42 sites across the country to contain reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

RAAC has been identified at Medway Maritime Hospital
RAAC has been identified at Medway Maritime Hospital

But trust bosses say after an inspection was carried out of the area where the concrete was discovered, it was deemed safe.

As such, no access to the area has been restricted.

Jayne Black, chief executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust – which runs the site – , said: “Following extensive inspections, suspected RAAC has been identified in one limited area within the hospital’s Post Graduate Centre.

“This building is used mostly by staff for educational and training purposes and internal meetings and is not used by patients or the public.

“The safety of staff using this building is paramount.

“Having carried out a risk assessment we are assured that the building, including the limited area where RAAC has been identified, is safe and that there is no need to restrict access.

“We will be working closely with specialist structural engineers to ensure we have the best possible advice and guidance.”

RAAC was often used in buildings erected between the 1950s and 1990s.

The hospital says inspections have been carried out since the discovery
The hospital says inspections have been carried out since the discovery

It is a type of concrete that is prone to collapse unless safety measures are in place.

Investigations into the concrete stepped up in 2018 when part of the roof of Singlewell Primary School in Gravesend collapsed.

Since then, councils have been ‘double-checking’ schools and other buildings for any signs of the faulty concrete.

In September the government confirmed 104 education “settings” had evidence of RAAC in its structure - on top of the 52 already investigated this year, including seven in Kent.

The list of 42 hospital settings was released by the Department of Health today. Medway is the only site listed in Kent.

A statement on its site reads: “All hospital sites with confirmed RAAC are in NHS England’s ongoing national RAAC programme.

“This programme is backed with significant additional funding of £698 million from 2021 to 2025 for trusts to put in place necessary remediation and failsafe measures.

“As of 17 October 2023, there are 42 hospital sites with confirmed RAAC in the rolling national programme. Eighteen sites have been identified since May 2023, following updated monitoring guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE).

“Sites join the programme regardless of the extent to which RAAC is present on the estate or whether it’s in clinical or non-clinical space.”

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