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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-23472

  • Asked by: Tess White, MSP for North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 30 November 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 12 December 2023


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-21458 by Michael Matheson on 4 October 2023, how many NHS properties have been physically surveyed as part of the national programme to identify the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.


In June 2023, NHS Scotland Assure completed a desktop review of the entire NHS estate which identified 254 health properties that were assessed to have a high or medium likelihood of RAAC. The Scottish Government made a commitment that all 254 priority properties would be subject to an intrusive survey by the end of November and that work is now complete; RAAC has been identified in 32 properties across NHS Scotland. Across NHS Scotland, the approach taken when RAAC is discovered follows the risk-based approach recommended by the Institution of Structural Engineers.

One property, Denburn Health Centre, was permanently vacated in September as a result of risks associated with RAAC. Prior to the identification of RAAC, there was an intention to vacate Denburn Health Centre at the earliest opportunity, so disruption was minimal and all services have now transferred to Carden Place which has much improved facilities. RAAC was also identified in one plant room in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where an initial review on the area did not highlight any structural concerns and although some repair work is required, the structural engineer confirmed the area is structurally sound. For the remaining 30 NHS properties identified with RAAC, there is no immediate disruption or concern, though additional monitoring and management of the situation is required in all cases.

Since the commencement of the survey programme, a better and wider understanding of the incidences of RAAC and a general raising of awareness has resulted in several NHS Boards approaching NHS Scotland Assure with additional properties to add to the desktop triage process. We expect somewhere in the region of 150 additional buildings will require a survey along with the 148 properties which were originally identified as having a low likelihood of RAAC.

The survey programme is now continuing with the additional properties identified as having a high or medium likelihood of RAAC followed by all properties identified in the desktop review with a Low likelihood of RAAC.

As of 7 December 2023 a total of 281 properties have been surveyed.

Details of the survey programme are available on NHS Scotland Assure’s website which also contains a link to each NHS Boards RAAC webpage for current information about progress of the survey programme: