Union leaders back hospital campaign as petition passes 2,000 mark

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

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

Staff and patients deserve better, union leaders say as they back a petition calling for West Norfolk's ailing hospital to be replaced.

Parts of the roof have had to be supported by steel props at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

More than 130 are now in place, while some critically-ill patients have had to be moved to other hospitals.

But the QEH must wait until after November to find out whether it will be given government funding for a new-build some time after 2025.

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

More than 2,000 people have now signed a petition calling for the hospital's case to be considered now.

Peter Passingham, eastern regional organiser with heath workers' union UNISON, said: “NHS staff go into the job knowing full well there will be a whole range of pressures to face, but worrying about the roof caving in isn’t one of them.


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“The trust is working hard to minimise the affect on patients and staff but as the building continues limping past its intended lifetime, it’s inevitable that more operations will be cancelled and more services moved across the county. 

“Staff and people across west Norfolk deserve better than this. A new hospital would only cost a fraction more than completely replacing the roof and would provide a modern and safe hospital underneath it that actually meets the needs of the local population.”

QEH

League of Friends shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn reopens - Credit: QEH

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Helen Maw, the Royal College of Nursing's senior officer for Norfolk, said: “NHS staff and patients deserve a safe environment where the best possible care can be provided. Having a building which is fit for purpose is vital when making sure practices such as infection control are carried out.

“We know that the nursing workforce is already under pressure from staffing shortages and the extra stress of working in challenging conditions will not help support and retain these key staff.

“We would support calls for a new-build hospital for King’s Lynn to help staff provide the effective care that patients deserve in the best possible facilities.

“As we have highlighted in our own Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign, having the right number of nursing staff in the right place at the right time is also vital in providing the best service to patients.”

To sign the petition, go online to https://tinyurl.com/7n7z5j67.

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