New unit will help build hospital community can be proud of

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

A new £12m endoscopy unit will be the next phase of turning a crumbling hospital into one its community can be proud of.

That's the pledge from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, while it waits to hear whether the government will give it the money for an entire rebuild.

The QEH, whose roof is being held up by more than 200 props,  was not included in the list of 40 new-builds announced by ministers last year. It now hopes it will be one of eight further schemes which are set to be announced in the Spring.

The 400-bed hospital has been given £20m in emergency capital funding. It has now applied for planning permission to build the new unit using just over half of the money.

In a planning statement, it says: "The trust has begun a journey of improvement from one with an “inadequate” rating from the Care Quality Commission to one the local community can be proud of.

"The proposed endoscopy facility that is the subject of this application is the next phase in the evolution of care at the hospital."

The new unit would be built close on what is currently a 59-space car park. The planning application says it is being built "in response to urgent need".

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It goes on: "The existing endoscopy facility is within the hospital at present and has become too small to accommodate current and future demands.

"In addition, it is necessary to address present and future decanting and refurbishment of areas of the hospital, current service provision pressures limit the ability for this to take place."

Councillors on West Norfolk's planning committee have been recommended to approve the new unit when they meet on Monday.

The hospital trust has said the two-storey building, which will be made from modular components assembled off-site, could be treating its first patients next Spring.

Endoscopy is surgery or a procedure carried out with the aid of a tiny camera which can enable doctors to see inside a patient's body.

Almost 10,000 have not signed the EDP's petition calling for funding to be made urgently available for a new hospital. You can find it via https://tinyurl.com/7n7z5j67.



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