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Harrogate hospital to demolish building riddled with 'crumbly concrete'

A building riddled with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is set to be demolished at Harrogate District Hospital.

Harrogate hospital to demolish building riddled with 'crumbly concrete' A building riddled with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is set to be demolished at Harrogate District Hospital. This week North Yorkshire Council gave planning approval for the therapy services department building to be torn down as it was found to be with RAAC, or “crumbly concrete”, which is a lightweight material that can run the risk of collapse. It will allow for the construction of a replacement building later in the year with demolition due to begin in June. In the meantime, all services will be relocated within the hospital with the exception of the podiatry and speech and language therapy services, which will move to a new location in Harrogate. The first section of Harrogate District Hospital was built in 1975 during a period when RAAC was used in the construction of public buildings. Last year Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, found 2,500 panels containing RAAC across the estate. The trust made a £20 million bid to NHS England for funding to eradicate RAAC across the Harrogate District Hospital site. The first element of the request worth £2m was approved in December. Matt Graham, HDFT’s director of strategy said:

“Unfortunately, when Harrogate District Hospital was constructed RAAC was used in several locations in the hospital. “The work we have undertaken so far has ensured there is no safety risk for our patients, visitors and our staff, but as a long term solution we now need to replace this roofing material. “In the case of our Therapy Services Department, this will require the demolition of the building in which the services are currently located. “Most of the services in the building will remain on the Harrogate District Hospital site, which will maintain services for our patients. "As community services, our podiatry and speech and language therapy services have been looking for an opportunity to move off the hospital site and this work has created the opportunity to establish a new community based, podiatry and speech and language therapy centre for Harrogate. “We would like to assure patients and visitors to our hospital and local residents that any disruption caused by the demolition will be kept to a minimum. “As well as removing a large proportion of the RAAC on the hospital site, this work will also provide the opportunity to build brand new facilities which will improve our services and increase the quality of care we offer our community.”
By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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