Cole-Hamilton: Ministers waiting for catastrophe to strike with RAAC

8 Feb 2024
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today accused the SNP Government of “waiting for catastrophe to strike” with dangerous concrete in public buildings, following the report in the Sun newspaper that government ministers have no plans to remove RAAC in as many as 35 NHS buildings.

Earlier today, the Sun revealed that the Scottish Government plans to take no action to remove RAAC in 35 NHS public buildings. The decision was disclosed in a letter by Health Secretary, Michael Matheson, to MSPs about the discovery of the dangerous concrete.

A response to a parliamentary question submitted by Mr Cole-Hamilton has also found that the Scottish Government has no deadline or target for removing RAAC in NHS buildings. This contrasts with the situation in England, which currently has a target to eradicate the dangerous building material from the NHS estate by 2035.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  

“It looks like SNP ministers are waiting for catastrophe to strike.

“Surgical wards, a radiotherapy ward, maternity wards and major hospitals were all investigated for suspected RAAC. The public have still not been given a definitive list of where this dangerous concrete is present.

“The government is happy to sit on its hands. This is a slow-footed and short-sighted response that puts patients and staff at risk and increases the chances of this dodgy concrete being in the NHS estate for many decades.

“Ministers need to get their heads out of the clouds and finally establish a fund that NHS boards and local authorities can tap into, allowing them to carry out the necessary works to get rid of this dodgy concrete for good.”