The boss of the hospital trust behind a building made of the same controversial concrete that has closed schools across the country this week has said it has an "extensive and robust" maintenance programme in place. 

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, which is due to be rebuilt in the next seven years, contains significant amounts of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), which made national headlines in the last week.

It was announced that several schools, including East Bergholt, Claydon and Hadleigh high schools, would need to close or partially close over safety fears due to the presence of RAAC.

Dr Ewen Cameron, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said the trust had been carrying out an "extensive and robust estates maintenance programme" at the West Suffolk Hospital site.

East Anglian Daily Times: West Suffolk Hospital has reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in its roof and wallsWest Suffolk Hospital has reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in its roof and walls (Image: Newsquest)

He said 82% of the roof planks have been fitted with "end bearing extensions" or "failsafe support" and 96% of walls have been treated with zinc anodes to prevent further deterioration.

Dr Cameron said: "Our highest priority has always, and will always be, the safety of our patients, staff and visitors.

"The completion of these works will ensure that the West Suffolk Hospital site remains a safe building for you, our staff and our visitors until we move into the new hospital by 2030.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dr Ewen Cameron, CEO of West Suffolk NHS Foundation TrustDr Ewen Cameron, CEO of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (Image: WSFT)

"In addition to these estates works, we also carried out a rolling programme of continuous monitoring and assessing, including the use of radar equipment and other industry approved tests and increased surveillance on the site until we are ready to move into our new hospital.

"All the way through this programme, we have sought advice from experienced structural engineers and experts to support our inspection and maintenance work. We have always followed this expert advice when dealing with this issue.

"Therefore, whilst we must acknowledge that our West Suffolk Hospital state is ageing, I would like to reassure you that our building is safe and you should feel confident to continue to attend your appointments, procedures or visiting as normal."

West Suffolk Hospital is due to be rebuilt on the site of Hardwick Manor, and the government have confirmed this will happen by 2030.