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The head of England’s National Health Service (NHS) has ordered all UK hospitals to verify that there is no dangerous concrete on their sites and that evacuation plans are in place, the latest development in the concrete crisis over the collapse of the UK government.

Chief commercial officer Jacqui Rock and contingency planning director Mike Prentice said in a letter Tuesday to senior health service executives and board members that senior staff must “ensure to the extent possible that Raac is identified and appropriately mitigated to keep patients safe.” Safety”, staff and visitor safety”.

Controversy has raged for days over the safety risks posed by reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (Raac) in schools amid fears other public buildings could contain the material.

In particular, NHS trusts must check that inspections are “thorough enough and cover all buildings and areas of your estate”, including non-clinical areas and buildings, Rock and Prentice added.

The letter came after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held a meeting with representatives of government ministries on Monday to try to determine the extent of Lark’s presence on public property and the remedial work that may be required.

Surveyors are currently investigating the presence of Raac in the House of Commons, and more than 150 schools are known to contain the porous material. Two-thirds of them have been ordered to close the site while restoration work takes place. The government is currently trying to determine how many more schools are made of concrete, but admits it could be in the hundreds.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said on Tuesday that school leaders should “get out of the way” and complete investigations to identify sites that may contain Raac, which so far has failed about one in 20 respond.

NHS England said it had worked closely with 27 of Raac’s sites since 2019 and had secured funding for “investigation, safety/remediation and replacement work”. It added that three of the sites had already had the material removed.

It also revealed that other potential problem areas had been identified in May following inspections across all trusts. The department added that efforts to confirm or rule out Lark’s presence were expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Rock and Prentice caution though that Raac’s effective management “significantly reduces the associated risks.” . .(it) didn’t completely eliminate them”.

They added that a regional evacuation plan had been drawn up and tested in the east of England and it was “necessary” for all known organizations to have Rucker incorporate it into their planning “as a priority if it has not already been completed”.

The government announced in May that it would add five Raac-affected sites to its hospital construction plan and pledged to rebuild them by 2030. Two other hospitals that house the materials are already part of the program.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, one of the new additions in May, confirmed it had had to confine the treatment of some heavier patients to the ground floor since 2020 due to concerns about the state of the building.

“Hinchingbrooke Hospital continues to reserve the condition to treat patients with more than 19 stones. This is because the cumulative weight of patients, staff and equipment poses a greater risk in some clinical areas on our ground floor,” the trust said.

Simon Corben, director of estate and facilities for NHS England, said the health service had “developed a national plan to support mitigation, monitoring and and eradication programmes”.

The health department said the NHS had “developed mitigation plans for hospital buildings with confirmed Raac, supported by substantial additional funding of £698m between 2021 and 2025”.

It added: “The technical advice received from the NHS is that current surveillance and mitigation methods remain appropriate.”

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