Following from the BtP investigation into asbestos in public housing (EXCLUSIVE: 70,000 NIHE PROPERTIES HAVE ASBESTOS) I decided to apply the same rationale to the next most important thing in the public service to readers – the Health Service.
I asked each of the respective Health Trust to outline how many buildings they have identified as having asbestos or asbestos-related material in the last five years and if there has been any work to remedy the asbestos in the same period. We also asked that they identify the buildings.
Some were more forthcoming than others.
Rather than identifying every single instance of asbestos being found across sites in each Trust area, I am going to focus on primary sites such as hospitals, though many Trusts have provided a comprehensive list.
The South Eastern Trust decided not to follow the request to the full, and did not outline specific sites or buildings where asbestos was found. In its response, the Trust said that it had 176 properties listed with 261,084 square metres of accommodation. It confirmed that approximately 75% of these contain a form of asbestos-related material.
In terms of removing the asbestos, the Trust told me it has an ongoing programme of works to survey its buildings and monitor the condition of asbestos. During major construction /refurbishment works the Trust will remove asbestos and if possible deliver a clearance note for the building.
The Western Trust complied fully with the request. The Trust has 161 instances of asbestos across its estate, 28 of these have been treated or removed in the last five years.
The Trust has identified 27 places within the Hospital that have some form of asbestos. These buildings include Trust Headquarters, the main kitchen, the Geriatric Unit, and outpatients/day surgery. The Tower Block itself has had asbestos removed in the last five years.
Tyrone County Hospital
The Trust has identified 18 buildings within the TCH site that have asbestos, 3 of them have been treated within the last five years. The main switch room, main boiler room and outpatients centre are all identified as currently having asbestos and not having been treated in the last five years. The Main Hospital Block has been treated in the same period.
Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital
The Trust has identified 30 buildings within this hospital as having asbestos, with 8 of these having been treated in the last five years. The mortuary and water tower are on the list of those not treated as well as the Nurses Home, though the Main Building has been treated.
The Southern Trust has 162 instances of asbestos on its estate. In their response, it outlined the site where the asbestos was, and identified the exact item it was found on. It did not identify what treatment or when, if ever, carried out.
Craigavon Area Hospital
The Main Building of the hospital site has a large number of instances in the response, as well as ‘external areas’.
The Lurgan Hospital Ward Block shows a number of instances of asbestos, though we cannot determine if these have been treated.
South Tyrone Hospital
As with Lurgan, the Main Block of South Tyrone Hospital has instances of asbestos in it, though the treatment if any has not been identified.
Daisy Hill Hospital
Daisy Hill site also has instances of asbestos, and more specifically, the Nurses Home is affected.
The Belfast Trust has identified 179 buildings on its estate that have asbestos – and has identified that 93 of these have been treated in the last five years, the most of any Trust.
Royal Group of Hospitals
The RGH have identified 42 buildings that have some form of asbestos in them, with 25 of these having been treated. Broadway Tower and the Communications Building are two of those identified as not having had any work done in the last five years to remove asbestos.
Mater Infirmorum Hospital
The Mater identified 5 buildings on its estate that have asbestos, 2 of these have had asbestos removed in the period.
Belfast City Hospital
BCH identified 13 buildings on its estate that have asbestos, with 6 of these having been treated. Those that have not include the Transport department and Lisburn Road Childcare Centre.
Musgrave Park identified 16 instances of asbestos across its estate, half of these having been treated. The Main Building, however, has not been treated in the last five years.
The Northern Trust were asked for the same information as all others on 31st May 2016, and took until October 4th to provide a response, somewhat outside the 20 days set out in law.
Holywell Hospital, Antrim
The Holywell site identified 9 buildings on their site that have had asbestos, all of these have been treated in the last five years.
The Dalriada site has identified two instances of asbestos including the Health Centre and Store. Both of these have not been treated in the last five years.
Antrim Area Hospital
The Hospital identified 16 buildings that have asbestos, none of which have been treated in he last five years. These include the Main Block and the Renal Unit.
The Mid-Ulster site identified ten buildings with asbestos, 8 of which have been treated. Those not treated in the last five years include the main ward block.
Whiteabbey identified eight buildings that have asbestos, none of these have been treated in the last five years. The buildings include Social Services and Wards 9 & 10.