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James Wild: Back the Bid for a better hospital in King's Lynn

The latest column from North West Norfolk MP James Wild during the pandemic period, Friday, December 11, 2020

QEH is at the heart of our community. It has been on the frontline of Covid-19 and as we near the end of 2020 it is right to pay tribute to the staff’s dedication and to remember Chrissie Emerson.

Since I was elected, I’ve been working with QEH to secure increased investment in order to give West Norfolk the hospital that patients and staff deserve.

James Wild MP and QEH Deputy CEO Laura Skaife-Knight
James Wild MP and QEH Deputy CEO Laura Skaife-Knight

While it was disappointing that QEH was not added to the list of new hospitals announced in previous phases, the team has developed a strong case to be one of the 8 additional hospitals the government is committed to.

So I welcome the launch of this paper’s ‘Back our Bid, Build our Future’ campaign to boost those efforts for a new hospital.

I’ve spoken to the Health Secretary, Chancellor, and Prime Minister about the plans and strong local support will strengthen our case.

Not many people make global news at the age of 90. But that’s what happened to Margaret Keenan as she became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine outside of a clinical trial, marking the roll out of the vaccine to priority groups.

It was a very encouraging moment in a very difficult year. I know how keen many people are to have the vaccine and individuals will be contacted when it is time for their jab.However, this is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history and it will take time. The vaccine will be deployed by hospital hubs, local services including GPs, and vaccination centres over the next few months and is dependent on issues such as manufacturing and supply.We will have to be patient so please wait for your invite.

So while there is light at the end of the tunnel, it’s crucial that everyone keeps following the rules to keep the virus under control.

It is understandable that some people have questions about the speed with which this vaccine has been developed. The decision to approve it was taken by the independent medical regulator who considered the evidence of its of quality, safety, and effectiveness. They have made very clear that the public’s safety has always been at the forefront of their minds.

In West Norfolk, and across the county, rates of infection have come down below 100 per 100,000 people thanks to everyone’s efforts. When the government reviews the current tier rating the infection rate, speed of reduction which shows signs of plateauing in Norfolk, as well as the ability of the local NHS will all be considered.

Once again, the borough council has stepped up paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in grants to businesses hit by Covid-19 restrictions. Do check if you are eligible. Finally, I am delighted to announce that the winner of my Christmas Card competition is Isla Manning.

It was difficult to choose from nearly 200 entries but her lovely design stood out and reflected the several days she told me she’d spent drawing it (see page 48).

With so many entries, I chose Max Forrest and Isabelle Arthurton from Ashwicken and Rudham schools as runners up.

A huge thanks to Jenny and Prontaprint for supporting the competition.

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