"Minor fixes and repairs are no longer sufficient"

"Minor fixes and repairs are no longer sufficient"

Published by Grace Marner
2:31pm 13th November 2019.

Seven hospitals across the UK are addressing concerns surrounding the way they were built.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is one of those concerned. 

A report by the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) released an alert and guidance to NHS England following the sudden collapse of a flat roof at a school in Essex in May.

qeh

 

The QEH has the same concrete planks that the school did when it was built.

The report said that there was "risk with these plants but that the extent is "uncertain". 

In a statement, Caroline Shaw said:

“The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is 40 years old, during which time there has been little investment to allow the scale of modernisation and upgrades required.

“The hospital was given a predicted lifespan of 30 years, as per other Best Buy Hospitals constructed at the time.

Caroline Shaw CEO QEH
CEO Caroline Shaw

“While it is clear that minor fixes and repairs are no longer sufficient, we will continue to use this hospital for as long as is possible even as we prioritise developing a case for national capital investment in the QE (including for a new roof) and for medium-term funding for the redevelopment and modernisation of the whole site.

“The Trust has a regular programme of planned maintenance to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, and this programme has not identified any immediate causes for concern.

“Furthermore, in response to the safety alert from the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) which reported one sheer plank failure in a non-NHS site built of similar material and construction to QEH’s roof, the Trust has taken additional actions and precautions to ensure safety, including mapping every plank across the organisation and seeking advice from an external structural engineer to support our inspection work; both of which have not changed the predicted life-expectancy of our building (2035).

“We continue to actively monitor the risk at Board level and accelerate our case for upgrading or replacing our roof.”

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