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Hospital could lose out on £22m of funding for crucial repair work

PUBLISHED: 17:15 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:49 03 October 2019

The QEH could miss out on

The QEH could miss out on "critical" funding to fix its roof. Picture: Ian Burt

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The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn could lose out on £22m worth of crucial funding.

Currently the hospital requires capital funding in order to carry out "critical and urgent" work on structural problems in its roof which it said could have an impact on patient care and staff safety.

In February last year, papers seen by this newspaper said the hospital must borrow £22m more for work to replace its 40-year-old flat roof, which could take until 2024 to complete.

Officials say that the structure is showing "signs of age" and the work will secure the building's future for an expected further 20 years of use.

At the time, Roy Jackson, the hospital's director of resources, said: "The Trust has applied for loan finance of £22m, following professional advice on the expected costs involved, in respect of the roof project which will account for substantial works over five to six years.

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"Works are complicated by the presence of asbestos and the need to create specific decant facilities as we move patients from the wards on a rolling basis during this work.

"The presence of considerable equipment sited on the roof complicates the nature of the work involved."

A board risk report read: "There is a risk that the trust will not be able to secure the required level of capital funding to address the critical and urgent works required to address structural deficiencies in the hospital roof leading to potential failure of the structure and potentially impact on patient care and staff safety."

Chief operating officer Denise Smith, said: "We recognise that attracting capital funding can be challenging and we continue to raise awareness of the capital investment needed for the trust."

The two-storey hospital building, at the junction of Lynn's Gayton Road and the A149 Queen Elizabeth Way, first opened in 1980.

Around a decade ago, there were hopes that it could be replaced with a new building as it reached the end of the 30-year working life which was originally envisaged for it.

But the NHS said that it would be more cost effective to refurbish parts of the existing campus than build a new hospital.

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