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How we are modernising your QEH

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I’m pleased to write my first article for what will be a monthly feature focusing on our work to significantly modernise our hospital and in turn further improve the experience of our patients, their families and staff.

We have a number of really exciting projects under way and alongside this, we’re progressing our work to secure a new hospital for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

Our ambition is to be the best rural district general hospital for patient and staff experience and these developments are central to helping us achieve this vision.

Caroline Shaw, CBE, CEO of the QEH (52458070)
Caroline Shaw, CBE, CEO of the QEH (52458070)

How we are modernising the hospital: A lot of work is under way to modernise our hospital, thanks to £20.6 million of emergency national capital funding. When we add the significant investments we are making, including to digitise our hospital this year – we are investing over £30 million in the QEH – which is more than we have ever invested in a year.

Groundwork has started on site for a new state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit. The proposed new facility (subject to planning approval) is an exciting opportunity, to trial and test new innovations and technology to improve patient care and experience. I will make sure this to the focus of our column next month.

We’re creating a brand new outpatient facility for January 2022 and refurbishing and upgrading several wards by spring 2022, which includes converting West Dereham Ward into a dementia-friendly ward for the elderly.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn (52459333)
Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn (52459333)

As above, we’re also investing almost £6 million this year to further enhance our digital maturity and we are due to open a new Maternity Bereavement Suite in winter 2021. We’re are also looking forward to the delivery of two new MRI scanners to replace outdated equipment by the end of March 2022. So there’s lots happening – all to improve our equipment and estate for our patients, visitors and staff.

Why we need a new hospital: As you likely know, our hospital buildings are in a desperate state. They have reached the end of their life. We are trying to secure funding from Government for a full new hospital – one that is fit for the future and one our patients and staff deserve.

A new hospital will enable us to provide outstanding care in world-class facilities and meet the demands of our growing and ageing population.

We expect to find out in the coming months if we have been selected to go through to the next stage of the assessment process for the Government’s New Hospital Programme. A final decision on the further eight new hospital schemes is expected to be announced in spring 2022.

Your support: I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has signed the e-petition for a new hospital and encouraged others to do so too.

It is important that the Government knows about the dire situation of our buildings and the support we have for a new hospital from the local communities we serve. I can’t thank you enough.

You can still show your support by signing our petition. And do urge your family and friends to do so too. We want to reach 100,000 signatures and trigger a debate in Parliament.

It will take you less than a minute and can be found at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/590390.

You can keep updated on all our developments at www.qehkl.nhs.uk and if you have any questions about our work, please get in touch by emailing us here at communicationsqeh@qehkl.nhs.uk

I look forward to updating you on our ongoing progress next month.

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