Health board confirms end of Internal Major Incident at hospital
A health board has announced the end of the Internal Major Incident at one of its hospitals caused by the discover of the dangerous building material Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).
Hywel Dda University Health Board originally declared the Major Incident at Withybush Hospital in August last year, following the discovery of numerous defective RAAC planks using in the construction of the building.
The health board says it was forced to act due to concerns about the structural safety of the hospital following the discovery.
RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete and was used in the construction of schools, colleges, and other public buildings from the 1950s until the mid-1990s.
The Health and Safety Executive has warned that RAAC is now beyond its lifespan and could collapse without notice.
Andrew Carruthers, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Director of Operations said: “This is good news, but it is important to note that some services continue to be displaced and provided from alternative venues, which presents ongoing operational challenges.
“Repair work will continue throughout this year. There is also an ongoing programme of regular survey work to monitor the condition of the RAAC, which will cause some disruption from time to time.”
Mr Carruthers also thanked staff working in Withybush Hospital and throughout the health board for their work to ensure patient services were maintained as fully as possible.
“I would also like to thank patients, visitors and member of the public for their patience, support and understanding during what has been a very challenging time for us and our patients.” he added.
“We are grateful to our patients and staff, for their continued support, and for understanding when we have needed to temporarily move services to alternative locations.
“The collective hard work of staff and hospital management, with support from our local authority partners and Welsh Government, has made it possible for us to make repairs and to reach this point of de-escalation.
Despite the Major Incident coming to an end, the repair and recommissioning of the affected wards is ongoing. The health board has estimated that affected wards will be back in use by the end of March, with work to repair the kitchens and outpatient areas completed later this year.
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