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Bosses’ £250m wish-list to transform hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, main entrance. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, main entrance. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Health bosses have drawn up a £250m blueprint to make a Norfolk hospital fit for the 21st Century.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopCaroline Shaw, chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

As the Queen Elizabeth Hospital nears its 40th birthday, its chief executive Caroline Shaw said it now needed "considerable capital investment".

Members of its ruling board will tomorrow hear its roof, which needs a £22m refurbishment, poses "a direct risk to life and safety of patients, visitors and staff".

Ms Shaw said managers have now developed a case to redevelop the entire site.

"Our hospital is now 40 years old and in desperate need of modernisation via national capital investment," she said. "The site has seen very limited redevelopment and investment since construction, even though the demographic that the trust serves has significantly changed and aged, and demand on our services is increasing considerably year-on-year.

Aerial view of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, seen from the air in around the time of its opening, in 1980. Picture: Archant LibraryAerial view of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, seen from the air in around the time of its opening, in 1980. Picture: Archant Library

"We have developed a £250m case to modernise our hospital, including our estate and digital infrastructure. Significant capital investment would enable a mix of new, refurbished and redeveloped accommodation so that over a period of years we could modernise the whole site."

Ms Shaw said the wish-list included a new emergency floor, including frailty unit, upgraded inpatient wards, new theatres, a single outpatient department and a new facility for women and children's services.

"This would mean our patients receive excellent care in state-of-the-art facilities, and QEH would become a place where people want to come to work and are proud to work, with improved recruitment and retention," she said.

The hospital remains in special measures after an inadequate rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Staffing levels were one of its areas of concern.

But Ms Shaw, who took over last May, has pledged to turn it around.

A new diagnosis and assessment centre is set to be developed at the hospital, with a £9m NHS loan.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We expect trusts to use their existing capital budgets and assets effectively to prioritise safety, and have provided Queen Elizabeth Hospital with £9m for upgrades to protect vital frontline care."

The DoH said the QEH could apply for future rounds of funding under the government's NHS long term plan, which pledges an extra £33bn a year for the NHS by 2023- 24.

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