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NHS survey finds unreliable concrete in New Craigs and Raigmore Hospital buildings

By Federica Stefani

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An ongoing survey of NHS Highland buildings has found Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in two Inverness hospitals.

RAAC is a light weight concrete used in constructions between the 1950s and the mid-1990s, and whose limited life span has raised concerns over the structural integrity of buildings in which it was used.

Now the material has been found in the Clava, Drumossie and Torvean buildings at New Craigs Hospital, where an intrusive survey to check on the conditions of the RAAC is set to be carried out.

This led to the cancellation of appointments, particularly affecting musculoskeletal physiotherapy outpatients, with services set to be temporarily moved to another site.

However work is still in progress to find an alternative accommodation, according to NHS Highland.

RAAC was also found at Raigmore Hospital in Zone 5, 8, 9 and 11, however, services were not disrupted as the material was found not to be ‘in critical condition’ according to NHS National Services Scotland who are carrying out the survey.

A NHS Highland spokesperson said: “NHS Assure has been coordinating a piece of work to establish which buildings within NHS Scotland could potentially have RAAC.

“During the process it identified some areas within our estate that could potentially have RAAC and we set up onsite surveys to confirm that RAAC is present and establish what if any risk/costs are associated. The results of these surveys are published on our website.

“All incidents of RAAC identified in NHS Highland’s estate are low risk and are being monitored. As part of this monitoring process, we have identified RAAC in Drummossie, Clava and Torvean buildings on the New Craigs campus.

“Further inspection of this identified the need for intrusive surveys to be carried out in each of these buildings.

“This work will require services to temporarily decant into alternative accommodation. We are in the process of finalising alternative accommodation and will be in touch with patients affected as soon as we can.”

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