There has been a "significant delay" to work at the Royal Bolton Hospital’s maternity ward due to the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, or RAAC.

The collapse-prone concrete, which has been likened to a "chocolate aero bar", was discovered in the maternity unit back in December.  

Sign up to our newsletters to get the latest stories sent straight to your inbox.

In August last year, more than 100 school buildings were ordered to be closed across the country after the material – which was used in buildings between the 1950s and 1990s, was discovered.

Last year, the Health and Safety Executive stated that the material was "liable to collapse".

Now, the Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has revealed there has been a "significant delay" to work implanting projects in the hospital’s maternity ward as a result of the RAAC crisis.

Follow The Bolton News on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), and TikTok.

In a report presented to the hospital’s board on Thursday, May 30, the hospital admits that there has been a delay in implementing a maternity specific electronic patient record due to the material, as well as issues with installing Wi-Fi services.

Additionally, the hospital says RAAC is having a "large impact" on the hospital’s "flow" – the movement of patients between departments – causing bed blocking.

In the document, the hospital’s chief executive report says inspections of the RAAC continue alongside daily monitoring of props, used to keep the material from collapsing.

Chief finance officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Annette Walker, said: “Since we identified reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in November 2023, we have taken a number of significant actions to secure the affected areas and make sure staff, patients and visitors remain safe.

“Unfortunately, RAAC is having an impact on a small number of improvement projects.

"We are currently investigating alternative ways to ensure they are still completed, including some temporary solutions.

“We continue to work with national experts in the NHS to safely manage RAAC.”

Another project mentioned in the report includes a future plan to implement "RFID" tracking throughout the hospital – with radio frequency devices allowing for individual patients and pieces of equipment to have their position tracked within the hospital.

The results of the 2023 staff survey were also shared, with figures showing a rise in staff reporting instances of discrimination.

A total of seven per cent of staff responding to the survey said they had experienced discrimination – up from six per cent the previous year.

Of those, 47 per cent, or 135 staff members, said they had experienced discrimination in relation to their ethnic background – up from 85, or 38 per cent, the previous year.

More staff said they had been discriminated against due to disability, too – rising from just 10 per cent of those who said they had been discriminated against in 2022, or 21 staff, to 12 per cent, or 33 staff, in 2023.

Director of people and deputy chief executive at the trust, James Mawrey, said: “We take every report of discrimination extremely seriously and we have many initiatives in place for staff to raise any concerns or worries they might have.

“When it comes to recruitment and progression, all shortlisting is based on skills, experience and knowledge.

"We offer bespoke training for recruiting managers, which covers equality, diversity and inclusion.

“We know there’s more we can do, which is why we’re regularly bringing staff together to provide feedback to help us make the changes that matter the most and create an even better place to work.”

If you have a story, I cover the whole borough of Bolton. Please get in touch at