Thirty-four hospitals in 16 NHS trusts in England have roofs made of RAAC, which are on the brink of collapse causing potential safety risks for patients and staff. Some of the worst affected hospitals are reporting the use of steel support props to prevent the roofs collapsing. Others are cancelling operations or restricting the weight some load bearing floors can take.
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) panels are a lightweight form of concrete panel and were used in the construction of hospitals from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. The panels have a bubbly appearance, often resembling chocolate Aero bars. RAAC panels typically have a 30-year lifespan, after which cracking can appear and the bubbles can break.
Mills & Reeve is currently advising affected trusts in connection with contracts for reconstruction and replacement of the affected roofs. We have been able to support our clients to ensure the hospitals can remain open safely for patients and staff whilst the vital repair works to the roofs are being carried out, using a bespoke delivery agreement with individual call offs to facilitate a streamlined transition between affected areas
NHS England has now set 2035 as the target year to eradicate RAAC from all trusts, with a budget of £110 million. However, some of the affected trusts are to be added to the government’s plan to complete 48 major hospital building projects by 2030. The Government is expected to announce in October which final trusts will included in this plan.
With this announcement expected soon, please do get in touch if your trust requires legal support to prepare contracts for the repair and reconstruction of hospital roofs affected by RAAC concrete.
This blog was written with the support of Helen Parkes, trainee solicitor.
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