'It's causing real hardship' - GP backs QEH bid as patients sent to Norwich

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's lynn

More than 3,600 people have signed our petition to build a new hospital for the QEH in King's Lynn. - Credit: QEH

A west Norfolk GP has raised concerns over the state of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, adding her name to our petition calling for it to be rebuilt.

More than 3,600 people have signed the EDP's petition calling for the King's Lynn hospital to be considered for a new hospital to replace its current decaying one.

Parts of the roof of the QEH have to be supported by steel props. Earlier this month, the hospital declared a critical incident over its roof which closed its critical care unit.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, has 131 props keeping up its roof.

An example of one of the 131 props in place around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, including its kitchen and Rudham ward. - Credit: QEH

The hospital, which was intended to have a working life of 30 years, has stood for more than 40. It is currently on a waiting list to see if it will be among one of eight hospitals awarded new builds planned between 2030-2035.

Pallavi Devulappali, a GP in Downham Market, said a new building is needed "desperately" to serve the population and is urging more people to sign the petition.

A prop holding up the roof at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

An example of one of the 131 props in place around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, including its kitchen and Rudham ward. - Credit: QEH

She said: "Appointments are being cancelled and patients are being moved. It’s causing real hardship - people are having to travel to the NNUH for procedures which could be done at the QEH.

"I think all local GPs will be in support of a new build. Our geography is such that we cannot do without a hospital here in west Norfolk. So the sooner we can get on and build one, the better."

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Dr Devulappali said one of her patients is unable to have a treadmill test at the QEH due to the department's roof situation and is instead having to wait to go to Norwich for the appointment.

She said: "It’s a shame that we didn’t get into the first round of funding, as we’ve known about this problem for several years.

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"In addition, the hospital has to be very careful about where the bariatric patients can be treated due to its weak roof. This has been the case for several years."

qeh roof

A crack in the ceiling where a concrete plank holding up the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has distorted - Credit: submitted

Devender Khurana, British Medical Association East of England council chair, said the situation at the QEH underlines the "serious state of disrepair" the NHS has fallen into "after years of underfunding."

Mr Khurana added: “With a backlog of maintenance work across the NHS costing billions to rectify, this situation is simply not sustainable.

“Doctors, nurses and other NHS staff have a right to go to work in an environment that is safe and fit for purpose and we need urgent action to see hospitals, like the QEH, brought into the 21st Century."

To sign our petition visit change.org/p/matthew-hancock-mp-build-a-new-hospital-for-king-s-lynn

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