Bid for new Norfolk hospital launched today
- Credit: Sarah Hussain
The bid to replace a crumbling Norfolk hospital is now in health secretary Sajid Javid's in-tray.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has a failing roof held up by props, and patients are being treated in a building more than 10 years beyond its originally-intended 30-year working life.
On Tuesday, the hospital's annual meeting heard it would be submitting its "strongest possible case" to be included in a list of eight new hospital builds expected to be announced in the spring of 2022.
On Thursday Prof Steve Barnett, chair of the trust which runs the QEH, said: “We are delighted to have submitted our bid to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
“The trust has submitted two expressions of interest to the Department of Health and Social Care. One for a single-phase full new build and another for a multi-phase development. We have done this to give the Queen Elizabeth Hospital the very best chance of securing the national funding we so badly need.
“I am confident that we have a very strong case. The simple truth is that our buildings are in a desperate state and have reached the end of their life – with 210 props in 46 areas of the hospital, we are the most propped hospital in the country.
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“This is why it is so important for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to get on the government’s list of eight new hospitals, recognising it is the only long-term sustainable solution to the challenges the trust faces.”
Maintaining the current hospital for the next 10 years will cost an estimated £600m, while a new hospital is costed at £700m.
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The EDP understands both on and off-site issues are being considered, while a property consultant's report has highlighted a site north of the A47 near the Hardwick Roundabout as suitable for a rebuild.
Despite its structural issues, the QEH was not included in a list of 32 new hospitals announced by the government in October.