Patients over 20 stone could be asked not to attend Hinchingbrooke Hospital due to structural issues
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Patients who weigh over 20 stone could potentially see their treatment moved away from Hinchingbrooke Hospital due to structural issues with the building.
Other options for patients of that weight include being treated on the ground floor.
The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that these is a separate issue from the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) used in the building’s construction that force the building to be vacated by 2030.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “A weight limit was put in place in affected areas of the site in 2020 after a site-wide structural survey was carried out by structural engineers and ground floor clinical areas are utilised as an alternative as necessary.
"In addition to this, our Estates and Facilities team work on an ongoing rolling programme across the affected areas of the hospital site to ensure that we can be aware of any faults as soon as they arise, implement safety measures and carry our immediate work.”
Earlier this week, the hospital was named by NHS providers as one of 14 hospitals constructed “either wholly on in major part” with RAAC.
The hospital has already secured part of a £20 billion investment to undergo a complete rebuild as part of the New Hospital Programme, which will be completed by 2030.
The hospital has also completed a three-year programme of RAAC remedial works which has reduced the number of props on site and reinforced the building.
Work is also ongoing for a new Theatres Block, which will house seven operating theatres and be open in early 2024.
Caroline Walker, Chief Executive Officer of the trust added: ““You may be aware that our main hospital building at Hinchingbrooke, like some others built around the same time in the 1970s and 80s, has developed some structural issues relating to the concrete panels used in the construction of its walls and ceilings.
“I want to reassure you that since first becoming aware of this issue in 2019, we have put in place a thorough and continuous programme of surveying of our hospital building to monitor any areas of concern.
"This year, we have completed a three-year programme of remedial works that have addressed all concerns to date. The work was completed with the support of experts, including structural engineers. But we are not stopping there. We will continue to monitor our building for the duration of its use.
"The safety of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority and we appreciate your understanding and support while we continue to manage our structural issues.
“In May 2023 we were successful in our bid to build a new hospital at Hinchingbrooke, which will eliminate our structural issues for good. Through the National New Hospitals Programme, it was confirmed that funding has been approved for the construction of a new hospital on our site that will meet the needs of our fast-growing population for decades to come.“This is fantastic news not only for our local communities regarding their future health services, but also for our staff, who have been working hard to deliver quality care from buildings that have not been up to standard for many years.”