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Asbestos in Shropshire hospitals poses ‘no danger’

It has been revealed that asbestos exists in two main Shropshire hospitals, with bosses confirming the material poses no danger despite a group of specialist solicitors claiming it presents a ‘serious risk’.
Dedicated Accident Solicitors carried out a Freedom of Information request, and all responding NHS trusts confirmed the managed asbestos was of no risk to patients or staff.
It was revealed some trusts have already paid out large sums in compensation to those who have been exposed to the substance.
No hospital employees or patients had pursued a claim against Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust for exposure to asbestos within its hospital buildings, the trust said, and insisted the substance does not pose a risk until it is disturbed.
“Parts of our estate were built in an era when asbestos – which is considered safe when left undisturbed – was commonly used,” Julia Clarke, director responsible for health and safety at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust says, as reported by Shropshire Star.
“We regularly inspect our buildings and robust systems are place to ensure we provide a safe environment for staff, patients and visitors.
“Whenever building work is carried out in areas where asbestos is present, experts are bought in to properly and safely dispose of it.”
“It is when asbestos fibres are inadvertently disturbed that they risk endangering those who come into contact with them,” explains John Das, director at Dedicated Accident Solicitors and an asbestos disease specialist.
“Asbestos is lethal and even low levels of exposure to asbestos fibres can cause cancer of the lining of the lung, called mesothelioma, an incurable illness with a very poor outlook.”
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital were inspected in November, December and January in accordance with an annual re-inspection programme.
Inspections revealed all materials were in a satisfactory condition, with the exception of a few materials at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in its ceiling voids, and a program of minor corrective work to encapsulate them is being carried out.