Airedale Hospital to be rebuilt as Steve Barclay accepts it's 'not safe to operate' past 2030

The concrete that Airedale was built with was found to have a 30-year lifespan. Credit: Artist impression, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

A West Yorkshire hospital is to be completely rebuilt as part of a £20 billion scheme after the government agreed with a report saying it's not safe to operate beyond 2030.

Airedale General Hospital near Keighley and Bradford is one of seven hospitals built using Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), now known to be unsustainable.

An independent assessment has shown that it is not safe to operate beyond 2030.

Found to have a 30-year lifespan, Airedale was built with RAAC in the 1960s.

Speaking to the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay said: "We now know that RAAC has a limited lifespan with difficult and dangerous consequences for the people who rely on or work in those hospitals.

"Madam Deputy Speaker, we accept in full the independent assessment that these hospitals are not safe to operate before 2030."

Health secretary Steve Barclay leaves Downing Street after a cabinet meeting on 23 May. Credit: PA

After the conservative manifesto pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, Airedale's redevelopment is part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

Another eight national schemes that were originally due to be constructed towards the end of the decade will now be completed past 2030.

Foluke Ajayi, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: "A new hospital will have far-reaching benefits for our local community, allowing us to continue to provide vital health care in a safe, modern environment."

“In the meantime, we are continuing to take every step possible to maintain a safe environment to provide high quality health services for our community, and would like to thank our patients and staff for their continued patience as essential structural work continues at Airedale.”

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