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    KL1 Radio Local Radio for West Norfolk

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    EPISODE 35 OF THE FARMING SOCIAL HUB PODCAST

Local News

‘Back Our Bid. Build Our Future’ – Time for a new hospital for West Norfolk

todayDecember 4, 2020 5

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Today, the Lynn News makes a rallying call to the community to support its campaign to bring a much-needed new hospital to West Norfolk.

Figures have emerged that show that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust would have to spend a staggering £554 million simply to maintain the present decaying structure of the building, whereas to build a new hospital on the site will cost only a little more at £679 million.

The QEH had hoped to be added to the list of 40 hospitals in the UK to be part of the Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP) which have been given funding to build new buildings and hospitals.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.. (42559685)
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.. (42559685)

However, despite the trust demonstrating that it’s in urgent need of a new hospital and developing and submitting a compelling case it was not included in the HIP2 programme in the recent Government announcement.

Patients and members of the community have been in touch with the Lynn News to ask how they can support their local hospital to put weight behind the Trust’s case to bring a new hospital to West Norfolk.


And in response, the Lynn News is running a new campaign to get a new hospital.

Queen Elizabeth HospitalKing's Lynn. (43379929)
Queen Elizabeth HospitalKing’s Lynn. (43379929)

Mark Leslie, editor of the Lynn News, said: “We say Back Our Bid, Build Our Future. There is no other way if we are to give West Norfolk the health service it is entitled to in the future.”

Malcolm Powell, ex-editor of the Lynn News, and QEH volunteer said: “This hospital is great, and it could be even greater with the investment needed to give it a brilliant future.

“My three daughters were born there. It helped to save my life. But it has to move with the times.

“As a volunteer for Macmillan and serving meals and drinks on the Shouldham ward I can testify to the exceptional care its devoted staff provide.”

The QEH was built 40 years ago with an original lifespan of 30. Now well beyond its intended use-by date and with a critical maintenance backlog estimated to cost millions to resolve alongside the ongoing structural issues, including the roof, a new hospital is the only option

Lorraine Gore, chief executive of West Norfolk Council, said: “Throughout this pandemic we have witnessed how hard our colleagues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital work and their fantastic response to the Covid-19 crisis.

“We all need to ensure that they have the very best tools to do their jobs effectively, and that includes a new hospital.

“The current premises are out-dated and past their working life. A new hospital is badly needed and we all need to do what we can to ensure that the QEH can continue to support our local communities in the best way possible.”

Brian Long, West Norfolk Council leader, said: “This pandemic has really highlighted the crucial work of the NHS and the staff of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“They have done an amazing job. We need to support them now, so that they have a hospital that is fit for purpose and ready to serve the local population for the next 40 plus years.

“The current hospital was built as one of several ‘Best Buy MK2’ models. It was made of prefabricated components and had a working life of just 30 years. The hospital was opened in 1980 and is now 40 years old.

“When it was built it was to accommodate the population which had outgrown the old hospital and to modernise the NHS. The same reasons apply today.

“The staff at the hospital deserve the best facilities in which to work, in recognition of their sterling efforts throughout the pandemic and over the last 40 years at the QEH.

“The people of West Norfolk deserve the best facilities for their healthcare provision.

“I would urge everyone to get behind this campaign to support the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in their mission to secure new facilities.”

James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, said: “Since being elected I have been campaigning to secure investment in QEH to give West Norfolk the hospital that patients and staff deserve.

“I’ve made the case directly to the Prime Minister, Health Secretary, and Chancellor for the government to back QEH and I’ll continue working with the trust, other MPs, and local community on its compelling case to be one of the eight additional new hospitals to be built.”

You can support the case by writing to Mr Wild by emailing james.wild.mp@parliament.uk.



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