Protestors call for build of new facility at West Norfolk hospital
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
Protestors gathered outside of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as part of a campaign to see a new facility built in west Norfolk.
The QEH in King’s Lynn, has treated royalty, and in the wake of Prince Philip’s death, protestors decided they would still gather to show the strength of feeling among the community for the build of a new site.
This comes after a campaign was launched by this newspaper, following reports that the hospital, which was built in the 1970s, is falling apart - with parts of the roof currently propped up to stop it from collapsing.
Jo Rust, secretary of the King’s Lynn and District Trades Council, who led the protest on Sunday, said: “There are four of us here today but we totally understand and respects people's right not to turn up because of the death of Prince Philip.
“However, we felt that bearing in mind this is a hospital that royalty have had to use, it's vital that we show the strength of feeling there is around saving our local hospital.
“We are really glad the EDP has started this campaign, but the problems aren't new for the people of King’s Lynn.
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“The serious issue is, a new hospital would probably take a decade to come to fruition so in the meantime we must have a fully funded maintenance programme so staff can come to work free from the fear that their workplace is dangerous.”
The QEH was not included in a list of 40 hospitals being given funding for new builds or renovations, in two five-year improvement programmes announced by the government last year.
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It is one of 16 waiting to see if they will be awarded one of eight new builds planned between 2030 - 2035, having missed out in HIP (Health Improvement Plan) one and two.
Ms Rust added: “Not only will we have areas that are shut off, we won’t have the clinicians there to do those jobs and it will be harder to recruit to the QEH.
"It’s incredibly time sensitive. This process should have started a decade ago.
“The people of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk should quite rightly be angry.
“I want Matt Hancock to tell us that we are getting a new hospital and a fully funded maintenance programme.”