Backing for King's Lynn hospital relocation proposal, but union group warns it has 'little confidence'
Campaigners have welcomed the proposal of an alternative site for a new Lynn hospital, but say they have “little confidence” it will get the go-ahead.
Earlier this week, a study suggested land off the A47, close to the Hardwick roundabout, as a site to replace the current Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
It claimed the current Gayton Road site was "unsustainable" for a modern hospital.
Now, the idea has been backed by officials from the Lynn and District Trades Council, who have written to county MPs backing the idea.
Group secretary Jo Rust said: “A total new build, off the current site, would be the best option.
“However, given that the first bid for a total new build was rejected, we have little confidence that this option will be successful.”
The group highlighted reports suggesting trusts are being urged to reduce the costs of their redevelopment proposals.
The council is also hoping to deliver its message in support of a rebuild directly to the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, next month.
Members are planning to visit Westminster on September 15 and have requested talks with Mr Javid and county MPs.
West Norfolk Council’s Labour group leader, Charles Joyce, has also endorsed the idea of building a new hospital away from the current QEH site.
Last month, he proposed an amendment to the borough’s local plan calling for a site to be identified for a new hospital, only to withdraw it after leaders said current efforts were being focused on the existing site.
Mr Joyce said: “I welcome the news that a landowner has finally broken cover with his offer of land to the QEH.
“He is not alone in preferring a world class hospital over the hand me down version the bean counters of NHS England are corralling the QEH into accepting.”
Meanwhile, the fight to secure a new hospital has passed a significant milestone this week after support for an online petition on the issue reached the 10,000 mark.
The petition was launched via the dedicated webpage for campaigns and petitions to the Government in July, with the ultimate aim of securing a Parliamentary debate on the issue.
But, while nearly 90,000 more signatures are still needed for that to happen, the Government is now obliged to issue a formal response to the petition because of the level of support received so far.
In a video message released on social media, Love West Norfolk ambassador James Bagge, who launched the petition, said it was “wonderful news” that so many people had already signed.
But he also urged the community to keep signing in order to go for the 100,000 target too.
He added: “Let’s hope our politicians give it some serious thought, given the support that you’ve given.
“Carry on signing the petition. The more we get, the better.”