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‘It’s great he can see the challenges.’ Minister’s visit to King’s Lynn hospital welcomed

todayJune 18, 2021 2

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Political leaders and health campaigners have welcomed today’s visit to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.

Mr Hancock saw the scale of the crisis posed by the condition of the hospital’s roof during a tour of the Gayton Road site.

West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark was among the representatives present for the visit, which also included the formal opening of the hospital’s new Sandringham unit.

Matt Hancock opens the new Sandringham unit (48361560)
Matt Hancock opens the new Sandringham unit (48361560)

Mr Dark said: “I was pleased to be here to welcome the Secretary of State for Health to our hospital.

“It’s great that he can see first-hand the challenges that staff have to work with here.

“I welcome Matt Hancock’s visit and the chance to raise with him the level of concerns of Norfolk residents, both in the borough and county.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, centre, sees the state of the roof in the Necton ward (48361557)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, centre, sees the state of the roof in the Necton ward (48361557)

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss said: “It is extremely positive that the Health Secretary visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“We have fantastic staff working at the QEH, serving a wide geographical area of patients, and I am pleased that the Secretary of State has had the opportunity to discuss with the leadership team the urgent need for a new build hospital.”

Her North West Norfolk counterpart James Wild, who accompanied Mr Hancock during his tour, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Health Secretary to QEH to recognise the incredible effort of staff during COVID and in the successful role out of the vaccine programme.

“Since being elected, I have campaigned for increased investment in the QEH so I am pleased that the Health Secretary accepted my invitation to see the challenges that patients and staff face from the structural issues affecting the hospital.

During Mr Hancock’s visit, placards from the weekly protests led by the Lynn and District Trades Council were visible at the front of the hospital’s grounds.

The group has also spearheaded a postcard campaign demanding the Government acts now to fix the hospital’s problems.

And its secretary, Jo Rust, said now is the time for Mr Hancock to act.

She said: “I hope he saw the extent of the problem and, combined with the strength of local feeling from all quarters and areas, has been persuaded to the bid and will make an early announcement so the trust can start making the necessary next steps.

“It’s vital for the future of our services and the safety of staff and patients.”

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