Since identifying RAAC on the hospital site in November 2023 we have taken the following actions to make sure that our staff, patients and visitors remain safe in our buildings:
Annette Walker, Chief Finance Officer with responsibility for Estates at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said:
“As part of our ongoing monitoring, there has been some identification of RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) in our maternity building. This was our first priority area to inspect when assessing our estate due to the age of the building.
“We are working with our estates team, iFM Bolton, and the national experts in the NHS to safely secure and prop the RAAC immediately.
“We are taking all necessary steps to keep our patients, families and staff safe in the affected area.”
Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight material that was used mostly in flat roofing, but also in floors and walls in schools, colleges, and hospitals between the 1950s and 1990s.
It is a cheaper alternative to standard concrete, is quicker to produce and easier to install.
It is aerated, or “bubbly”, with a lifespan of around 30 years.
Its structural behaviour differs significantly from traditional reinforced concrete.
Moreover, it is susceptible to structural failure when exposed to moisture. The bubbles can allow water to enter the material.
If that happens, any rebar reinforcing RAAC can also decay, rust and weaken.
Since RAAC was first discovered, we have been undertaking remedial works where required, which currently involves propping the known affected areas whilst we do detailed surveys of the department and areas. We will continue working with the right experts to ensure the right steps are taken to manage any issues to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and staff.
Putting structural support into wards and other areas to further support the RAAC panels.
Until the full survey is conducted, we will not know if we have RAAC in other areas of the building or the hospital.
The safety of staff, patients and visitors is our utmost priority, which is why we are accelerating this programme of inspection so we can begin any remedial works where required as quickly as possible.
To carry out the inspection and do any of the work needed may mean some unavoidable disruption, including ward and service moves.
During this time we will be putting plans in place so that other appropriate areas are found for you to receive care, and so that disruption is as little as possible.
We will let you know about any moves in advance of your appointment. We apologise for any inconvenience during this time.
Information about current moves can be found here.
At this time you will still be able to do everything you were planning for your birth, including water births.
Please contact the number on your appointment letters, and they will make sure you are directed to the right person to help.
Whilst we conduct the inspection and do any work needed, there may be some ward and service moves so that we can provide your care safely elsewhere.
We’ll keep this page updated with any moves, and let you know in advance of your appointment if you’re used to attending appointments in a particular place. There will be signage on all doors.
M4 and M5 (postnatal) have moved to G4, first floor of Royal Bolton Hospital – view map online.
Some Women’s Healthcare services have moved to Lever Chambers, in Bolton town centre.
M1 and M6 (our gynaecology and early pregnancy units) have moved to H1 – view map online.
For more information on the RAAC programme – NHS England » Reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (RAAC)