New wards and theatres at crumbling hospital

Protestors outside the QEH hospital in Kings Lynn, organised by Kings Lynn Trades Council.Byline: S

Protestors outside the QEH hospital in King's Lynn, organised by King's Lynn Trades Council - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Extra wards and operating theatres will be created using some of the £20m the government has pledged to help maintain a crumbling hospital.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Lynn now has 200 props in place to hold up its roof, while its risk register warns there is "a direct risk to life and patients, visitors and staff".

qeh roof

A crack in the ceiling where a concrete plank holding up the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has distorted - Credit: submitted

The QEH was not included on a list of 40 new builds announced by Boris Johnson last year. It is now drawing up a business case in a  bid to become one of eight further new builds which will be announced on November.

The government has provided it with £20m in extra funding to help the hospital cope with its structural problems.

A report to its ruling board, which meets on Tuesday, says the money will "address year one of a three-year failsafe programme that will mitigate the risk associated with the structural integrity of the roof and therefore further improve safety".

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

It adds: "The plans developed include creating more operational wards from existing space and a rolling programme that allows two theatres for decant opportunities through the construction of a new endoscopy suite.

"The capital business case will be discussed for approval at the private meeting of the board of directors on July 6."

Decant opportunities mean creating space which patients can be transferred to from areas of the hospital in the event of structural problems appearing.

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In a separate report Prof Steve Barnett, chair of the trust which runs the QEH, said a visit to the hospital by former health secretary Matt Hancock was "a timely opportunity for the trust to not only set out how we are responding to current challenges on the hospital site, but also to establish our credentials as an anchor institution in West Norfolk in a fully sustainable, integrated and patient focussed health and care system."

Home secretary Sajid Javid before speaking at the Conservative Party annual conference Photo: Aaron

Home secretary Sajid Javid before speaking at the Conservative Party annual conference Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Mr Hancock resigned days later after leaked CCTV footage showed him in an intimate embrace with an aide.

His successor Sajid Javid has been urged to "fast track" funding for a new hospital. More than 7,500 have signed the EDP's petition calling for a replacement here: https://tinyurl.com/t4xm78w2. 

Campaigners will stage a rally in the Walks before marching through Lynn on Saturday.