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Frimley Park Hospital to Be Rebuilt At a Cost of £1.26bn to Fix Unsafe Roof Problem

Published on: 14 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 17 Jan, 2022

Frimley Park Hospital – Photo Geograph

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

A £1.26billion transformation is planned to deliver a new state-of-the-art Frimley Park Hospital.

The hospital will be rebuilt to get rid of a lightweight concrete used in the roof that can deteriorate and become unstable over time.

The reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was a common building material when the hospital was built nearly 50 years ago but is now widely considered to be unsafe.

Frimley Park was one of seven hospitals in England to be promised government funding for urgent remedial work last year, after the sudden collapse of a flat roof at an Essex school in 2019 was believed to be caused by RAAC planks.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said they are actively managing the risk and there are new roof covers in place to prevent water making the RAAC deteriorate.

A spokesperson said: “Although considered a revolutionary new building material at the time, RAAC has since been found to be susceptible to deterioration and therefore represents potential health and safety risks to patients, staff and visitors as well as considerable surveillance and maintenance costs.”

The trust is required by NHS England and NHS Improvement to get rid of all RAAC by 2035 and has asked for funding from the Department of Health and Social Care for a rebuild.

“We will continue with our careful surveillance and maintenance regime to keep the site safe in the meantime,” it added.

The new net-zero carbon Frimley Park Hospital will have more operating theatres and more local specialist services and could be delivered in phases over the next 10 years.

It will also deliver smarter use of digital technology and improved infection prevention and control.

A spokesperson said it was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide the local community with a hospital which is fit for purpose” and will “significantly improve healthcare and experience for everyone”.

Chief executive Neil Dardis said in a report presented to the board of directors yesterday (January 13): “Contractors are currently on site from this month to complete the demolition of the former accommodation and office blocks at the back of Frimley Park, which include RAAC structures.

“Firstly, they will be removing the old Elm House single-storey block nearby and replace it with a two-storey modular office building.

“We have also continued work to ensure the viability of RAAC covered areas in Green corridor [fast routes] and in ITU [intensive therapy unit], including a refurbishment and extension of the unit.”

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Responses to Frimley Park Hospital to Be Rebuilt At a Cost of £1.26bn to Fix Unsafe Roof Problem

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    January 14, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    St Helier hospital is much older than Frimley Park, so that’s where the £100m reduction in the promised £500m funding from the government for the new Sutton Acute Hospital is going.

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