Reader Letter: If QEH Hospital secures rebuild make sure it lasts this time

Matthew Hancock with the logo for the Rebuild the QEH campaign

The EDP is launching its Rebuild the QEH campaign to urge Matthew Hancock to back the building of a new hospital in King's Lynn. - Credit: Tolga Akmen/PA Wire/PA Images/Archant

The call for a new hospital for West Norfolk has the full support of every one of us who lives here but could I please offer a note of caution.

If we’re lucky enough to get funding from this desperately strapped government, it might make sense to build the next one with a view to it lasting a tad longer than 30 years maybe?

We bandy around eye-watering figures that run to hundreds of millions of pounds but 40 years ago we were doing just the same thing and what we ended up with was plainly never constructed or designed with any consideration of future-proofing.

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

Bearing in mind the massive carbon footprint embodied in the structure of the current QEH and assuming a high percentage of the demolition materials will end up in landfill we are looking at a hefty financial and ecological fiasco.

The QEH was constructed with a 30-year lifespan and anyone with an ounce of wit might have had the foresight at the time to plan ahead with some kind of financial “savings plan” to build the next one?

But no, heads have remained firmly in the sand while the local authorities assumed the magic money tree would deliver when the time came.

QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which staff say is no longer fit for purpose and should be replaced - Credit: QEH

Let’s build this new hospital with sustainable materials that stand the test of time and hopefully it will have a lifespan which extends considerably longer than that of a mid-priced touring caravan.

We know how to build things to last when we choose to — let’s take the long view and could I suggest we immediately start to think about how the one in 40 years' time will be financed.

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Steve Mackinder, Sandy Lane, Denver.

-The EDP has launched a campaign to win West Norfolk the new hospital it is crying out for - and you can help increase the pressure on health secretary Matt Hancock in a few clicks online.

By signing our petition, you can add your voice to the many who are calling for the aging Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Lynn to be replaced.

It is currently 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.

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