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Current plan for new hospital only option to meet 2030 deadline, says CEO

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In her monthly Ward Round column, QEH CEO Alice Webster talks about the exciting times ahead for the hospital.I know that, quite rightly, there is a huge passion within our local community around the need for a new QEH.Please believe me when I say that we are all just as committed to a new hospital as you are, and now that we have government approval for our new hospital on the existing site, our teams are working hard to get spades in the ground as soon as possible.

The QEH was added to the government’s New Hospital Programme in May last year.

We know all too well the importance and need for a new facility for the community we serve – for our patients, our staff and the future of health care in West Norfolk.A new single-phase hospital on the current car park is the only option to meet our 2030 deadline for a new QEH to be open to care for patients.This was fully supported by our board of directors, external stakeholders and healthcare partners, as the most cost-effective option.Keeping our teams onsite whilst the new build progresses means that our specialist staff are close by and on hand when our patients need them – this option was supported by the government when we were added to the New Hospital Programme in May last year.We are on track and working towards this 2030 deadline, we have a clear roadmap that has contingencies in place for any unforeseen issues during the build and we are confident we can achieve this.When putting together our case for a new QEH, we explored the feasibility of relocating to a number of other sites, looking at a range of factors.These options were fully costed and in 2022, the estimates showed an off-site option would be more costly, meaning keeping our current site presents the best value for money.Exploring the relocation of the QEH to a different site again is likely to significantly delay the project, denying local residents the benefits of the new hospital for longer and impacting future care, all while incurring yet further costs to taxpayers.More than £50 million has been invested in modernising projects since 2021 on our current site.Examples of these include our state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit and West Norfolk Eye Centre which both opened in 2022, and construction continues on our Diagnostic Centre which opens later this year.All these new, modern facilities will remain in place beyond the doors of our new QEH opening in 2030.I know what the QEH means to the people of West Norfolk, our highly trained teams are here to serve our community, providing the very best healthcare and services to those who need it – we do it with pride and deliver the best value for money we can using finite resources.Thank you to our community for supporting us on this important journey.

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