A crumbling Norfolk hospital has been forced to turn storage space into makeshift operating theatres so work can be done to prevent its roof from collapsing.

The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston is one of the main sites affected by controversial reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and is due to be rebuilt in coming years.

But in the meantime, it has had to take desperate measures to keep the building - and its patients - safe until the rebuild.

A freedom of information request has revealed that eight of its 13 theatres contain the crumbly concrete and will, at some point, need to close for safety works.

In an effort to minimise the impact, the hospital has had to reinstate a storage space into an extra operating theatre so medical work can continue while others close.

The space had originally been built as a theatre, but had been converted into an equipment store over time.

However, the hospital has now been forced to bring the disused theatre back into action.

A spokesman for the JPUH said: "We have been conducting a continuous programme of surveying and remedial works on our RAAC panels over the last four years - and since 2021 have been installing precautionary 'end bearing' supports to panels in the roof.

"To facilitate this work in our theatre areas, we have converted some disused space into an additional theatre so this work can continue without disrupting patient operations and procedures.

"This work will be taking place over the next two years."

The hospital also recently built a new 'concept ward', which it uses to move entire wards at once so work can be done elsewhere in the building.

The remedial work will see one theatre closed at a time.

Eastern Daily Press: Keir Cozens, Labour candidate for Great YarmouthKeir Cozens, Labour candidate for Great Yarmouth (Image: Keir Cozens)

Keir Cozens, Labour's candidate in Great Yarmouth who made the freedom of information request, said: "The unsettling discovery of flimsy RAAC concrete in more than half of the hospital's operating theatres sheds light on how 13 years of neglect from this government has allowed our NHS to deteriorate, putting patient safety at risk."