Crumbling hospital will be told soon how it can apply for a rebuild

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn

Dealing with critically-ill Covid patents has placed "immense pressure" on staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - Credit: QEH

A crumbling Norfolk hospital will know soon how it can apply for a rebuild. Then it's fingers crossed, to see if it gets one.

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

Concrete planks with an expected working life of 30 years are still supporting the structure more than four decades later.

The hospital was not included in the list of 40 which would be modernised or rebuilt which was announced by the government in the autumn.

It is currently on a list of 16, from which eight will be selected for a new build.

The Department of Health and Social Care has now announced that further details on the process will be set out in the “coming weeks”. 


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Health Minister Edward Argar said in response to a Parliamentary question from North West Norfolk MP James Wild: "We are currently finalising the process and selection criteria for the additional eight schemes that will be part of our new hospitals programme and plan to announce further detail in the coming weeks."

QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital will host a long Covid trial. - Credit: QEH

Mr Wild said: "Having campaigned for investment in QEH since I was elected, I look forward to more details on the next steps for the new hospital programme. QEH has a compelling case to be one of the new hospitals and growing support from the local community, councillors, press, and others will be important in backing the plans the trust is developing.”

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The QEH has been given £20m by the government for urgent repairs. Its roof will cost an estimated £550m to maintain for another 10 years - almost as much as the cost of building a new hospital.

Staff fear the hospital is a "Grenfell waiting to happen", while the QEH's risk register says: "There is a direct risk to life and safety of patients, visitors and staff due to the potential of catastrophic failure of the roof structure due to structural deficiencies."

The EDP has launched a campaign for a rebuild, with a petition showing the strength of feeling locally for action. Almost 6,000 have signed it. You can join them at https://tinyurl.com/t4xm78w2.


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