Opening date revealed for new Norfolk hospital
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A new Norfolk hospital could be operational by 2030, says a report to the county's new healthcare partnership.
Integrated care systems, which require all parts of the NHS to work with each other, local councils and other partners, are being rolled out across the country from April.
The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership, which involves hospitals, community and mental health trusts, GP practices and other care providers, meets for the first time in public on Thursday.
A report by Mark Flynn, deputy chief executive of the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, sets out the timescale for the new-build hospital which was one of 40 announced by the government last year.
The JPUH was built with an expected working life of 30 years, but is still in use four decades later. It has high maintenance costs and structural defects, said Mr Flynn. They include the reinforced concrete roof planks which have started to deteriorate in buildings elsewhere.
It comes as more than 130 steel props are being used to prevent the roof collapsing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, which is of similar vintage and construction to the JPUH but was not included on the list of trusts given funding to draw up plans for rebuilds. More than 4,500 have signed a petition calling for a replacement hospital.
A report to the hospital's board, which meets in Wednesday, warns: ""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."
Mr Flynn's report says the JPUH has "inadequate space to deliver modern health and social care services", while replacing it will enable a health campus to offer "truly joined up services" for patients.
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It adds it will also help tackle "challenges" such as the area's older population and related issues, deprivation, smoking, obesity, alcohol and drug dependency.
An outline business case will be submitted in July 2022, with final approval expected in April 2024. If granted, work would also begin in April 2024, and continue until April 2029. Moving services to the new site is expected to be complete in January 2030.
Members of the public will be able to view Thursday's meeting and ask questions about the issues being discussed for further information, go to www.norfolkandwaveneypartnership.org.uk.