Calls to heap more pressure on Matt Hancock over crumbling QEH

A prop holding up the roof at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

One of the props in place around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. - Credit: QEH

County councillors are to use their first meeting since the elections to call on the government to approve a new hospital for King's Lynn.

The EDP has launched a Rebuild the QEH campaign

The EDP has launched a Rebuild the QEH campaign - Credit: Archant/PA

The roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) needs to be replaced and is currently being supported by almost 200 metal poles.

In March, patients had to be moved out of the critical care unit because of the risk of collapse.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, has 131 props keeping up its roof.

An example of one of the 131 props in place around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, including its kitchen and Rudham ward. - Credit: QEH

While the government has given the hospital £20m for urgent repair work, it would cost £554m to maintain it over the next decade.

A new-build would cost £679m and the Eastern Daily Press launched our Rebuild the QEH campaign and petition to call for the government to commit to a new hospital.

While the government agreed funding last year for the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston to develop the case for a rebuild, the QEH missed out.

It is one of 16 waiting on a decision over eight new builds, due in November.

At Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council's annual general meeting on Monday, two motions will be put forward looking to increase pressure on health secretary Matt Hancock.

Bill Borrett, who, before the election, was cabinet member for adult social care, has tabled one which welcomes the EDP campaign and the efforts of North West Norfolk Conservative MP James Wild.

Bill Borrett, chairman of Norfolk County Council's adult social care committee. Picture: Matthew Ush

Conservative county councillor Bill Borrett. - Credit: Matthew Usher

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The motion highlights how the James Paget "which suffers from the same structural problems" did get funding.

It asks the council to urge Mr Hancock to "urgently approve a new build hospital for Kings Lynn to replace the Queen Elizabeth and to fast track its build and design."

The wording is not dissimilar to that of an attempted Conservative amendment to a Labour motion about the hospital last month.

Labour withdrew that motion due to the attempted amendment and Sandra Squire, the leader of the Independent group at the council at the time, branded it as a "political game".

A second motion has been tabled by independent councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South.

Norfolk county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South. Picture

Independent county councillor Alexandra Kemp. - Credit: Ian Burt

Hers also calls for the council to write to the government to ask it to find the money for an immediate rebuild.

Mr Hancock's office recently refused to accept a petition, set up by the EDP and signed by more than 6,200 people. We left it on the doorstep of his office.

County councillor Penny Carpenter, the chairman of the health and overview scrutiny committee, wrote to Mr Hancock about the issue at the end of March. He has yet to respond.

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