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Protest over King’s Lynn hospital roof crisis postponed

todayApril 9, 2021 5

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A protest planned for this weekend to demand urgent action to improve the condition of Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been postponed.

The move was announced following the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh a short time ago.

Organisers said the event, which had been due to take place on Sunday, has been postponed until further notice and a further announcement will be made “when appropriate.”

King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital (45330493)
King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital (45330493)

The demonstration was planned after papers presented to the hospital’s board of directors this week revealed that a total of 165 defective concrete planks had been identified in the building’s roof following a radar survey.

A structural engineer is set to be brought in to review the findings.

And, last month, a Norfolk County Council committee was told that 131 steel props are now being used to hold the roof up around the site.

The current state of the QEH roof, held up by steel beams (45715163)
The current state of the QEH roof, held up by steel beams (45715163)

That came just days after a critical internal incident, the second known one of its kind in just three months, was declared when patients had to be moved from the critical care unit to enable urgent repairs to be carried out.

In his board report, Trust chairman Professor Steve Barnett thanked the Lynn News and other organisations for their support of the fight to ensure “our patients and those we serve have a hospital that is future proofed – which is no more than they deserve.”

He added: “The Trust continues to press the case to secure the required significant national capital funding to build a new hospital.

“In the meantime, the Trust welcomed the £20.6m of capital awarded to fund the short-term fixes and improvements needed to ensure patient and staff safety as surveys increasingly identify failings with the roof planks, indicating more rapid deterioration of the estate.”

The protest was due to be led by KLOVE, which describes itself as a non-political community organisation.

Jordan Stokes, from the group, said the the efforts being made to prop the roof up showed action is needed now.

He said: “They’re due to announce the new hospitals being built in the autumn. We haven’t got that long.”

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