Boris Johnson pledges hospital’s £250m upgrade under ‘active consideration’
- Credit: QEH
Hospital bosses and a Norfolk MP have pledged to continue pressing the case for a £250m upgrade - after prime minister Boris Johnson said it was under “active consideration”.
Conservatives promised to build 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years in their manifesto for December’s election.
In March, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn published its £250m wish-list to modernise its site.
The QEH, on Gayton Road, was opened in 1980 with an expected working life of 30 years - meaning an upgrade is 10 years overdue.
The prime minister was asked in the House of Commons on Wednesday when work might begin. North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: “On the 40th anniversary of a hospital only built to last 30 years, does my right honourable friend agree that the dedication shown by staff in responding to coronavirus deserves to be recognised by including the Queen Elizabeth in our new hospital building programme?”
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Mr Johnson responded: “Of course, this government were elected to build 40 new hospitals, and that is what we are going to do.” He added the health secretary would be setting out a list. Mr Johnson said the QEH was awarded £9m in October for “urgent upgrades” and longer-term solutions were now under “active consideration”.
The QEH wish-list includes a new emergency floor, a frailty unit, upgraded inpatient wards, new theatres, a single outpatient department and a new facility for women and children’s services.
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Chief executive Caroline Shaw said: “Caroline Shaw, Chief Executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn said: “Our hospital is now 40-years-old and in desperate need of modernisation, with very limited redevelopment since construction.
“Our current building is not fit for 21st century healthcare and if we are to truly provide the very best care to our patients and our community and attract and retain the best staff, we must have a building that supports that.
“We are pleased that our local MP, James Wild, continues to support us in our campaign to get QEH the much-need investment to improve our site for our patients, their families and our staff.”
Mr Wild said: “Securing investment in the QEH has been my top priority since I was elected in December. I’m working hard with QEH to make what I consider to be a strong case for the hospital to be included in the health infrastructure programme.”