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‘Hospital’s fate is in your hands now Mr Javid’

todayJune 29, 2021 5

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Don’t risk losing what we have gained – get Sajid Javid to visit Lynn hospital now!

That is the message from campaigners after disgraced Matt Hancock stepped down as Health Secretary within days of being shown the state of the crumbling Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

They have gone straight to his successor demanding that he, too, comes to West Norfolk to see the crisis for himself.

Sajid Javid with North West Norfolk MP James Wild on a visit to Lynn in 2019.
Sajid Javid with North West Norfolk MP James Wild on a visit to Lynn in 2019.

“We have to keep up the pressure,” said independent councillor Jo Rust yesterday. “If not, there is a danger that everything we have gained could be lost.”

She said she fears that Mr Javid, who was announced as Mr Hancock’s successor on Saturday evening, could see issues inherited from his predecessor as “tainted”.

“We cannot let that happen. I have asked MP James Wild to get Javid here so that he can see the situation for himself.”

Matt Hancock was at the QEH days before resigning
Matt Hancock was at the QEH days before resigning

Although he made no promises after his visit, Matt Hancock acknowledged that having 200 steel props holding up the hospital roof was “very serious and needed addressing.”

Days later, after admitting an affair with an aide and breaking his own social distancing rules, he was gone.

Another community campaigner, Micaela Bartrum, immediately fired a letter off to Mr Javid, the former Chancellor.

She told him: “One of the most important outstanding issues you inherit from your predecessor is the need for an urgent decision to replace the Queen Elizabeth hospital in King’s Lynn. This hospital already requires more than 200 supports to prevent a roof collapse.

“Despite campaigns by local people and our newspapers, and support from councils and MPs, we have been frustrated by the lack of action this urgent problem demands. We are letting down patients, families and our health care heroes.

“Please, please bring this decision to the top of your priorities so we can get on with the job King’s Lynn so needs. I would be delighted to show you round King’s Lynn, introduce you to local people like me who rely on the hospital and those who work there.”

North-West Norfolk MP, James Wild, said: “Ministers and senior officials in the Department of Health and Treasury are well aware of the seriousness of the situation at QEH as was shown by the £20.6 million capital funding provided this year.

The new Health Secretary came to King’s Lynn to support my election campaign and I have been in contact with him since his appointment to highlight the issues at QEH. With the support of other MPs whose constituents are treated at QEH and the local community, I will continue campaigning for QEH to be one of the eight new hospital schemes.”

And South-West Norfolk MP, Liz Truss, said: “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital very much remains a priority and along with colleagues, I will continue to make the case to Sajid Javid for a new build hospital.

“I know officials at the DHSC will ensure he is fully updated on the situation and I will make sure he is briefed on the urgent need for an early decision.’

The hospital plight is sure to be highlighted at a rally and march due to take place at Lynn on Saturday to mark the birthday of the NHS.

Star speaker will be former Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. The gathering will be in The Walks, from noon followed by a march through the town.

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