Norfolk hospital set for £20.6m urgent modernisation

The £12.5 million endoscopy unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is set to open to patients next year.

The £12.5 million endoscopy unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is set to open to patients next year. - Credit: Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

Work is under way on a new £12.5 million state-of-the-art endoscopy unit at a Norfolk hospital.

Set to open to patients next spring, the funding is part of a £20.6 million emergency national capital investment given to Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn which is set to modernise the hospital's facilities for patients, their families and staff.

News of the investment follows this paper's petition to build a new hospital for King's Lynn which led to over 9,000 signatures.

The hospital is in need of urgent renovation, having been built in the late 1970s with an expected working life of 30 years.

The roof at the Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in King's Lynn was in need of urgent repairs.

The roof at the Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in King's Lynn was in need of urgent repairs. - Credit: QEH

However, now in use over 40 years later, parts of the roof had to be propped up to stop them from falling in at the QEH and forced the hospital to send critical care patients dozens of miles away for treatment.

The hospital had previously declared that a decade or repair works would cost £554 million, while a new build would cost around £636 million.

Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive of QEH, said: “Our hospital buildings are in a desperate state. They have reached the end of their life. We are trying to secure government funding for a full new hospital – one that is fit for the future and one our patients and staff deserve – knowing this is the only sustainable solution for the QEH.

"If we manage to secure the funding and are confirmed as one of the government’s eight new hospital schemes, it will take a number of years to go through the necessary planning and approvals process and build the hospital. The very earliest we would expect the new hospital to open its doors would be 2029.

“It’s therefore crucial that we continue to invest in our hospital during this time to make sure we provide the best care and experience we can for our patients, their families and staff.

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"Thanks to the emergency national capital funding, and combined with the significant internal capital investment we are making in our hospital this year, including to help digitise our hospital - we are investing over £30m in the QEH which is more than we have ever invested in improvements at the hospital in a year.”

To sign our petition, click here.

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