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West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark meets with Health Secretary Steve Barclay to push for new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn





The fight for a Queen Elizabeth Hospital announcement went on as West Norfolk Council's leader travelled to London.

Cllr Stuart Dark met with Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Thursday - the latest in a long line of visitors from our borough - to push for funding to be confirmed for a replacement Lynn hospital.

West Norfolk MPs James Wild and Liz Truss also continued with their healthcare campaigning last week.

West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark travelled to London to press Health Secretary Steve Barclay on a new hospital
West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark travelled to London to press Health Secretary Steve Barclay on a new hospital

This continued a trend of face-to-face meetings and letters being sent to Government officials on the matter, while council staff have also previously established a petition which has garnered 15,000 signatures.

The QEH, with its estate covered in Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), was built to last for 30 years. It is now over 40 years old and propped up by over 3,000 timber and metal supports - making it the most propped up hospital in the country.

Nearly two years ago in July 2021, a unanimously-supported motion said that the borough council would "continue to urge, on its own and with others, the Secretary of State for Health to urgently approve a new build hospital to replace the Queen Elizabeth and to fast track its build and design".

Borough council leader Stuart Dark (left) and North West Norfolk MP James Wild (right) with Health Secretary Steve Barclay
Borough council leader Stuart Dark (left) and North West Norfolk MP James Wild (right) with Health Secretary Steve Barclay

On his recent visit to the capital, Cllr Dark said: "I was pleased that the Secretary of State was able to see MP James Wild and myself in London last week, particularly given his diary commitments.

"At our meeting I was able to once more state this council’s long-standing, united, cross-party position that the QEH needs to be urgently replaced and that the delay in an announcement of a funding decision was causing continuing concern.

"I was heartened that the Secretary of State clearly understood the serious challenges faced by the QEH specifically, and RAAC hospitals in general, and took on board the issue of our community needing as early an announcement as possible.

"This meeting, and the response from The Chief Secretary of the Treasury to James Wild's question in parliament earlier this week, has given me much optimism for the outcome of the QEH bid."

The borough council says it is committed to supporting its QEH colleagues and the case for a new hospital in Lynn, and that it will continue to do everything it can to magnify the messages and put pressure on decision-makers.



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