Matt Hancock asked to justify lack of action over crumbling hospital
- Credit: PA
"Can you justify a hospital being left in this parlous state and, knowing it is, not taking immediate action to remedy the situation?"
That is the pressing question posed to health secretary Matt Hancock on behalf of all Norfolk's county councillors, given the crucial need to tackle the issue of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.
The hospital's roof is supported by almost 200 steel props, with some critically ill patients having to be moved to other hospitals.
And yet, unlike the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, the hospital missed out on funding for a new-build in a list of 40 hospitals announced by prime minister Boris Johnson last year.
Instead, the QEH is waiting to hear whether it will one of eight further new-builds planned for after 2025.
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The EDP launched our Rebuild The QEH campaign to heap pressure on the government to act more quickly.
More than 7,200 people have signed our petition, while Norfolk County Council's full council agreed in May to write to Mr Hancock.
In that letter, council leader Andrew Proctor said: "The nurses, doctors and support staff at the QEH all worked tirelessly
throughout the pandemic at great personal cost, and continue to do so.
"They are doing all his immensely valuable work in a 41 year-old hospital, built to last 30 years, that has a roof constructed of what is now known to be defective concrete and which started to cave in this December.
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"The people of Norfolk deserve and must have better, so that no one is left behind and the quality of care and access to all can be maintained."
The letter backs the EDP campaign and that of North West Norfolk Conservative MP James Wild.
The letter concludes with: "We hope this matter can be dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency in order to safeguard our local healthcare system and ensure the continuance of good local service delivery now and into the future."
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Hancock said he was aware of the problems.
To add your voice to the campaign, go to https://www.change.org/p/matthew-hancock-mp-build-a-new-hospital-for-king-s-lynn.