Harrogate District Hospital set to demolish Therapy Services building and relocate affected services

Posted on: Monday 19 Feb 2024

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) has received approval from North Yorkshire Council to demolish the building in which its Therapy Services Department is located at Harrogate District Hospital, as part of its work to remove Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) from the site.

Work to demolish the Therapy Services Department building is due to begin in June 2024 with works completed by early September, and will allow for construction of a replacement building later in the year.

All services currently occupying the building will be relocated within the hospital with the exception of the Podiatry and Speech and Language Therapy Services, which will move to a new location in Harrogate.

The proposed demolition work is the latest move by the Trust to eliminate RAAC from its hospital.

Following recent concerns over the longevity of RAAC panels a full survey was completed to identify areas of concern. RAAC panels are present in the Therapy Service Department, as well as several other areas of the hospital site.

The Trust has mitigated identified risks through remedial work, such as providing additional structural support where it is required.

Last year, a £20 million business case was submitted to NHS England for funding to eradicate RAAC across the Harrogate District Hospital site. The first element of the request – £2 million – was approved by NHS England in December allowing the Trust to begin this essential work.

Matt Graham, HDFT’s Director of Strategy said: “Unfortunately, when Harrogate District Hospital was constructed RAAC was used in several locations in the hospital.

“The work we have undertaken so far has ensured there is no safety risk for our patients, visitors and our staff, but as a long term solution we now need to replace this roofing material.

“In the case of our Therapy Services Department, this will require the demolition of the building in which the services are currently located.

“Most of the services in the building will remain on the Harrogate District Hospital site, which will maintain services for our patients.  As community services, our podiatry and speech and language therapy services have been looking for an opportunity to move off the hospital site and this work has created the opportunity to establish a new community based, podiatry and speech and language therapy centre for Harrogate.

“We would like to assure patients and visitors to our hospital and local residents that any disruption caused by the demolition will be kept to a minimum.

“As well as removing a large proportion of the RAAC on the hospital site, this work will also provide the opportunity to build brand new facilities which will improve our services and increase the quality of care we offer our community.”