Meeting over Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn was ‘positive’

Unions have met MP Henry Bellingham for talks over the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Unions have met MP Henry Bellingham for talks over the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Trade unionists have hailed a meeting over the futurwe of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with MP Henry Bellingham as 'positive'.

The hospital was placed in special measures after critical reports from health watchdogs the Care Quality Commission and Monitor.

Darren Barber, secretary of the QEH's branch of UNISON and JoAnne Rust, secretary of King's Lynn Trade Council, held talks with North West Norfolk MP Mr Bellingham about issues raised in the reports.

Mr Bellingham said he wished to see all those involved working together constructively and that it would be an 'absolure tragedy' if services were to be downgraded at the hospital.

He said he would work closely with both WNCCG and the hospital's new management, in order to safeguard services.

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'We were pleased with the meeting, it was certainly a positive,' said Mr Barber. 'We heard what we wanted to hear, and now trust that our MP will continue to act on behalf of the people of West Norfolk.

'It has certainly been our view that route cause of problems in the hospital have been down to a lack of government funds, deep cuts bleed. We feel this has been partially acknowledged by the government, in its award of an extra £3.9m for A&E.

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'But we feel that still doesn't go far enough, and fear that our hospital is being run down by stealth. But we are proud of our hospital, and all the magnificent work of its dedicated, hard-working, staff.'

Improvements are being made to the A&E to speed up admissions, after the hospital failed to meet waiting targets. More nurses are being hired after staffing levels were criticised.

Ms Rust said she was relieved Mr Bellingham wanted to work with unions and hospital management to safeguard jobs and services.

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