Hospital proud how staff have coped with Covid as it hopes for replacement

League of Friends shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn reopens

Covid rules will remain in place beyond July 19 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. - Credit: QEH

Hospital bosses say they are proud of how their staff pulled together "in the most challenging of circumstances" to battle Covid.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital's annual report says the pandemic had "a significant impact" on the King's Lynn hospital and" fundamentally changed" the way it delivers services to its patients.

In their foreword hospital chairman Prof Steve Barnett and chief executive Caroline Shaw add: "The pandemic led to significant changes in the configuration of the hospital as staff quickly adapted to caring for Covid patients. Numbers peaked at 220 inpatients at the height of the second wave, while 1,712 patients were safely discharged during the course of the year.

"We are incredibly proud of how Team QEH has pulled together and remained absolutely focused on delivering safe and compassionate care in the most challenging of circumstances. We are also extremely grateful to our fantastic local community for their unwavering support for QEH during the pandemic, including those who contributed to fund raising activities to support improvements to patient and staff experience."

The report says the hospital has developed "a compelling case" for its 40-year-old building to be replaced. Some 200 props are in place holding up its crumbling reinforced concrete roof, but the hospital was not included on a list of 40 new builds announced by the government in the autumn.

Staff hope it will be one of eight further new builds announced later this year.


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The annual report says investment would enable a mix of new, refurbished and redeveloped accommodation, making it fit for the future for patients.

It adds the hospital is hoping for funding for a new emergency floor, including a frailty unit, upgraded inpatient wards, new theatres, a single outpatient department and expanded endoscopy facility, along with a new facility for women and children’s services."

Almost 8,000 have now signed the EDP's petition calling for a new hospital. You can here: https://tinyurl.com/8j2be9fm

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The report says the 518-bed hospital serves a population of around 279,000 people in the counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, employing 3,400 staff.

It says the hospital, which was placed in special measures in July 2019, is making  steady progress, but follow-up inspections by watchdog the Care Quality Commission have been disrupted by the pandemic.


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