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Funding for new West Norfolk hospital confirmed as Health Secretary Steve Barclay reveals King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital added to government programme

West Norfolk will be getting funding for a new hospital to replace its current crumbling building, it has been confirmed this afternoon.

After years of campaigning, staff and patients at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital will be celebrating alongside politicians and members of the public today after Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced the QEH would be added to the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

The team at the QEH had put together a case for its £862m rebuild as its current site has at least 4,394 steel and timber support props in 56 areas of the hospital holding up its roof – making it the most propped-up in the country.

King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital
King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Built using RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete), the current building has reached the end of its life, with national experts saying it has a 2030 deadline – by which time the new building should be open.

The hospital’s CEO Alice Webster and chair Chris Lawrence said, in a statement: “We’re thrilled that the urgent need for a new QEH has now been recognised and that we have been formally added to the list, along with the four other RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) hospitals who were not until now part of the New Hospital Programme.

“This is excellent news for our patients, our local communities whom we serve and our staff – and is testament to the hard work and campaigning we have done together over the last few years.

King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital will be rebuilt after it was included in the Government's New Hospital Programme. Picture: Queen Elizabeth Hospital
King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital will be rebuilt after it was included in the Government's New Hospital Programme. Picture: Queen Elizabeth Hospital

“Your support has been instrumental in securing the QEH the essential funding we need to bring King’s Lynn and West Norfolk the new hospital we so desperately need. Thank you.”

They added: “A new hospital is the only sustainable long-term solution to the unique challenges we face.

“A new hospital that is fit for the future will enable us to provide outstanding care in world-class facilities, meet the demands of our growing and ageing community and become a hospital that our patients, visitors, staff and volunteers can be proud of.

“It is also an essential requirement to achieving our ambition of becoming the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience and becoming a CQC ‘outstanding’ hospital.

“We are ‘investment ready’ to move forward with a new build on our existing site and with funding now secured, it will allow us to take forward the necessary planning, approvals and building works for a new hospital to open its doors from 2030.

“In the meantime, as one of several RAAC hospitals in the country, we will continue to invest national capital to maximise the safety and compliance of our current hospital.

“This includes completing the installation of failsafes across our buildings to minimise the risk of plank failures, and significantly modernising the hospital through a number of investments which will further improve the experience of patients, their families and staff.

“All of these investments fit with our hugely exciting new hospital plans.

“We continue to be incredibly grateful for all of the support we continue to receive from our local communities for a new hospital.

“We are fortunate that The QEH is close to the hearts of so many and we would like to thank you for your unwavering support and helping us to secure the funding we so badly needed for a new hospital.

“We will continue to keep you regularly updated as the work to build a new hospital continues – with patient, local community, partner and staff involvement and engagement central to making our brand new hospital the best it can be. Information will be available and regularly updated on www.qehkl.nhs.uk or you can email newhospital@qehkl.nhs.uk.

“Thank you once again for your continuing support for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“Please know how much this is appreciated.

“Today is a pivotal moment for the QEH and our future, and it’s a day we will never forget.”

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