Serious concerns over structural safety of four hospitals in East Anglia

Serious concerns have been raised about the structural safety of four of the region's hospitals.

West Suffolk Hospital revealed this afternoon that reinforced concrete used in parts of the building could be prone to cracking.

The same material has been used in Hinchingbrooke Hospital at Huntingdon, Queen Elizabeth in King’s Lynn and the James Paget at Gorleston in Norfolk.

Concerns have been raised over Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete. Credit: ITV Anglia News

West Suffolk Hospital was built in 1974 using so-called 'Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) planks.

Last year one collapsed at a school, prompting a warning over the potential dangers as the planks deteriorate.

At West Suffolk, there are 15,000 planks in the roof and walls and all of them are being checked.

NHS England says it's working with seven hospitals which have similar issues, four of which are in the Anglia region.

Inspections will begin at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire says structural engineers will begin inspecting its RAAC planks in the coming weeks.

It was built in 1984, but about three-quarters of the roof covering it has been replaced in recent years.

The James Paget Hospital in Norfolk has also stepped up inspections of its planks using laser equipment. Managers say that so far, those inspections have revealed no concerns.

Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn says redevelopment is needed. Credit: ITV Anglia News

Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn says it's mapped every plank in its roof and has a maintenance plan to keep staff and patients safe.

It is 40-years-old and Chief Executive Caroline Shaw says minor fixes are no longer sufficient and that redevelopment of the whole site is needed.

It's a similar story at West Suffolk, which has secured seed funding to work up plans for a new hospital.

Its Chief Executive Steve Dunn says he is confident that 400 million pounds has been earmarked to make those plans a reality in the next decade.

  • Watch our report by Rob Setchell here