Mental health trust site in Enfield confirms Raac discovery

The building at Chase Farm is said to be in “good condition” and can still be used, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

The Warwick Centre at Chase Farm

A hospital building run by a mental health trust covering Barnet, Enfield and Haringey is among the latest known to be affected by the crumbling concrete crisis.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) has been found at part of the Warwick Centre on the Chase Farm Hospital complex in The Ridgeway, Enfield.

The health partnership that runs the site says the Raac was found to be in “good condition” and it is safe to continue using the building.

Chase Farm Hospital was included on a list of NHS sites containing Raac that was published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DOHSC) on Thursday (19th). However, this does not refer to the main hospital building, which only opened in 2018.

Raac is a lightweight form of concrete used in construction for several decades up until the mid-1990s, could be at risk of collapse at the end of its 30-year lifespan.

The Warwick Centre houses the Hawthorn Recovery Unit, which provides assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for older adults with acute and complex mental health problems.

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It is managed by Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, which is now part of North London Mental Health Partnership.

In a statement, the partnership said: “Specialist engineers have surveyed North London Mental Health Partnership buildings and a small amount of Raac was found in one part of the Warwick Centre, a small stand-alone building on the Chase Farm site in Enfield.

“The Raac was found to be in good condition, and the engineers reported that it was safe to continue using the site.

“We are arranging for further IStructE Raac specialist engineers to survey the building and will use their report to inform any further safety measures, if they are needed.

“The care of our service users is paramount and we will continue to work with NHS England and structural experts to ensure that their safety, and that of our staff, is not compromised.”

The building is included in NHS England’s ongoing national Raac programme, which is backed by £698million of funding to enable trusts to put safety measures in place. The government has pledged to remove Raac from the NHS estate entirely by 2035.

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