REVEALED: NHS hospitals serving 2 million Brits at risk from unsafe concrete

NHS hospitals serving 2 million patients are at risk from unsafe concrete, the government has been warned.

Seven hospitals staffed by 42,000 NHS staff are among those so far identified as suffering from problems with reinforced autoclave aerated concrete (Raac).

Opposition politicians said it was a “national scandal” after research by the House of Commons Library found the combined catchment areas covered a total of 1.9 million people.

It comes after the head of NHS England told MPs the management of Raac in hospitals was “really quite burdensome” for staff.

Amanda Pritchard told the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday that dealing with the building material had “put a lot of pressure on teams, not least in terms of enhanced monitoring arrangements”.

Out of the seven hospitals included in the analysis, University Hospital Southampton has the largest number of patients in its catchment area, with 468,295 – followed by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals at 316,122 and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn with 249,000.

However, the actual total number of people served by unsafe hospitals is expected to be even larger as the Library analysis does not include 11 trusts with multiple hospitals from its analysis as not all of their sites will necessarily be affected.

There are also a further five trusts affected by Raac which have not yet been publicly identified.

“It is frankly a national scandal that so many people live in areas with hospital buildings at risk of collapse,” Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said.

“Hard-working doctors and nurses were the heroes of the pandemic, and deserve better than to work in unsafe conditions under roofs at risk of collapse.

“This feels like a disaster waiting to happen with the NHS. The government must learn the lessons from their failure on crumbling schools and get these hospitals fixed as soon as possible. There is no time to waste when NHS staff and patient safety is a risk.

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