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Four hospitals have no clear plans to replace dangerous cladding

3080738 grenfell tower fire exterior cladding jc8t6m 2
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Four UK hospitals have failed to clarify plans to replace Grenfell Tower style cladding more than a year after the west London tower block fire, an official document has revealed

An update from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has shown that remediation plans for the quartet of health facilities are ‘unclear’.

The government this month announced it would ban the use of combustible materials on external walls of new buildings taller than 18m.

Ministers have been publishing monthly reports on their programme to identify and replace existing aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, which tests have shown is ‘unlikely to meet current Building Regulations’.

The latest update showed that 457 such towers had been identified as of 12 October, of which just 39 had completed remediation works and received necessary sign-offs.

A further 120 had started replacement works, while 129 had plans in place and 44 had ‘reported an intent to remediate’.

This left 125 buildings where remediation plans were described as unclear. While the vast majority of these were privately owned residential towers – including student residences and hotels – four were hospitals.

Cladding has been in the spotlight since the blaze that claimed 72 lives at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 (pictured). Tests carried out last year showed that ACM cladding panels used on the west London block would have burnt even if used in conjunction with non-combustible insulation.

The Department of Health and Social Care insisted that all NHS hospitals where ACM has been identified had government-funded mitigation plans in place and were planning projects to remove and replace the cladding.

In May, the RIBA slammed the post-Grenfell Hackitt review of Building Regulations as a ‘major missed opportunity’ after it failed to ban combustible cladding on high-rise towers.

The government this month released £248 million to fund the replacement of dangerous ACM cladding on social housing blocks across the country.

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