What is Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and where is it present on the Haywood Hospital site?
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is a form of pre-cast concrete plank used in construction in many public buildings. Although considered a revolutionary new building material at the time, RAAC is now outdated and newer construction materials offer more longevity and durability, as well as having lower maintenance cost. There have been recent failures of RAAC roofs and floors.
Within Haywood Hospital, RAAC roof planks are present in the ambulatory care centre. The affected area is marked in the image below in red. The newer inpatient building and all of the wards are unaffected.
The new building will replace the old in terms of the same rooms and services, but will conform to modern space and energy standards.
Health and safety
Is the current outpatients building unsafe?
No. The building was constructed in the 1980s and regular surveys have shown the RAAC planks are in relatively good condition. However, as a precautionary measure the Trust has installed props to the areas of the building where there could be future issues and fully or partially relocated affected services to nearby Bradwell Hospital.
What services have been moved?
The following services have been either fully or partially relocated on a temporary basis from the Haywood:
- Rheumatology Services – services within the unit are currently split between Haywood and Bradwell hospitals.
- Day Case Unit – relocated to Bradwell Hospital.
- Musculoskeletal (MSK) – relocated to Bradwell Hospital.
- Falls outpatients – relocated to Leek Moorlands Hospital.
- Parkinson’s outpatients – relocated to Packmoor Medical Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.
- Specialist Rehabilitation Unit – services within the unit are currently split between Haywood and Bradwell hospitals. These include the spasticity specialist clinic (also comprising the ITB (Intrathecal Baclofen Service)) that assesses and manages people with abnormal muscle stiffness.
- Neuro, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Podiatry services – relocated to Bradwell Hospital.
- Rehabilitation Medicine clinics – services within the unit are currently split between Haywood and Bradwell hospitals.
If services have already been moved to Bradwell Hospital why can’t they just stay there?
Highly valued multidisciplinary services are now primarily split between two sites (Haywood and Bradwell hospitals, four miles apart across a city centre); detrimentally impacting both staff and patients unable to benefit from the ‘one stop shop’ approach the centre has offered.
This one stop shop approach has previously enabled patients to access the below during one visit preventing multiple journeys across a number of days or weeks:
- consultant or nurse review
- pharmacy review
- access to diagnostics if required
- access to phlebotomy for blood monitoring on commencement of medication
- specialist therapies including splinting for joint protection/ management
- access to a range of treatment interventions including infusions; epidurals; ultrasound guided injections
This has significantly extended waiting lists for some pathways. We have seen a number of increased contacts to our advice lines, accessed by patients frustrated at delays in appointments or requiring urgent access to an appointment due to the length of time since their previous review or wait for a first appointment.
The space at Bradwell Hospital is not sufficient for service needs and cannot house the services long term.
Will there be any change of services when the scheme is complete?
This scheme will provide a modern, fit for purpose building free from RAAC and is not about changing our services.
How much money will this scheme cost?
We are currently in the design process, with the estimated cost of the scheme being £26.5m.
Is there a more cost effective way of solving the RAAC issue?
The Trust scoped a number of options, including just replacing the roof. This would be less expensive; however it would effectively reduce the size of the current building. The current building is 40 years old and does not reflect modern space standards or patient flow. The Trust is working on the basis that better value for money would be to replace the entire building on the site; creating a modern fit for purpose centre.
Where is the money coming from?
The Trust has been allocated £18.2m by NHS England through the national RAAC eradication fund, with the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent health and care committing an additional £8.3m.
Is the national funding guaranteed?
The £18.2m allocated to the Trust by NHS England is not guaranteed until the Final Business Case is approved following its submission in June 2023.
What are the next steps?
Planning permission will be sought via Stoke-on-Trent City Council in February 2023. The Outline Business Case will be submitted for national approval in February and the Final Business Case will be submitted in June.
What are the proposed hours of construction?
The construction site will be operational at the following times:
- Monday to Friday: 7am – 6pm
- Saturdays: 7am – 2pm
- Sundays and Bank Holidays: site closed
The contractors will also restrict certain operations during term times to aid Haywood Academy. Sometimes there may be a few out of hours work elements with the potential to overrun normal hours of work, e.g. concrete pouring. This will be minimal, but when it is needed, dates will be communicated to the community and immediate neighbours.
Will there be any road closures?
It is not proposed to close Haywood Road to carry out the work, although on occasion traffic may be slowed by deliveries or construction vehicles. We will make sure the disruption is as little as possible.
How will dust and waste be minimised?
Dust and blown waste will be limited by dust suppression in-built into crushers, water bowsers and hoses. Existing hard standings will be used in the grounds and a road sweeper will be employed to minimise mud. Prior to leaving site all wheels will be jet washed if required. Burning of material will not be permitted.
There will be a turn off policy for static plant to reduce noise and emissions. Permanent power to be used where possible to reduce the noise from generators. If complaints are received, these will be recorded, and action taken immediately.
How can I get involved in the planning engagement?
Please be aware the engagement process has now closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their views on the plans.
I have a non-planning related question, how do I get in touch?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.