Government announces rebuild of five hospitals

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that five hospitals that were built using mostly reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) will be rebuilt by 2030 as part of the New Hospital Programme.

According to the Department, Patients and staff will benefit from safe, state-of-the-art new facilities and improved care.

The government has also announced that over £20 billion is expected to be spent on new hospital infrastructure.

The hospitals included are Airedale in West Yorkshire, Queen Elizabeth King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire, Mid Cheshire Leighton in Cheshire and Frimley Park in Surrey, all of which have significant amounts of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

RAAC is a lightweight type of concrete used to construct parts of the NHS estate in the past. However, at the end of its limited lifespan, it deteriorates significantly.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and James Paget Hospital in Norfolk, which are also affected, have already been announced in the New Hospital Programme and these are set to be prioritised.

The government has a manifesto pledge to build 40 new hospitals in England by 2030. According to the government: "Two hospitals in the New Hospital Programme are already complete and five in construction. By the end of next year more than 20 will be underway or complete."

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:

“These five hospitals are in pressing need of repair and are being prioritised so patients and staff can benefit from major new hospital buildings, equipped with the latest technology.

“On top of this I’m strengthening our New Hospital Programme by today confirming that it is expected to represent more than £20 billion of new investment in hospital infrastructure.

“As we approach the 75th anniversary of our fantastic NHS, this extra investment will ensure it can care for patients for decades to come and help cut waiting lists so they get the treatment they need quicker.”