'Give us a hospital that's fit for purpose', West Norfolk MP tells Government
Government ministers have been urged to see for themselves exactly why West Norfolk needs a new hospital that is "fit for purpose."
The invitation was issued by North West Norfolk MP James Wild as he renewed the demand for a commitment to replace the current Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn this afternoon.
Speaking during a health and social care debate responding to last week's Queen's Speech, he warned that the recent allocation of around £20 million to the QEH was "literally money to prop up the roof."
He added: "I urge the Government to back our bid to deliver a hospital our patients and staff deserve."
Mr Wild told MPs there are currently 194 props being used to hold up the roof in 43 separate areas of the hospital.
He also highlighted the QEH's own risk register which warns of the potential danger to life associated with the problem.
And he referenced recent comments by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, that "you get to a point with a piece of infrastructure where continuing to just keep propping it up gets to the end of its usefulness and you need something completely new."
He added: "We have reached that point with the QEH.
"The need is obvious. Patients and 4,000 staff need a hospital that is fit for purpose.
"With significant housing growth planned, demand for healthcare is only increasing."
The comments came as campaigners staged their latest weekly demonstration outside the Gayton Road site, demanding commitments to a new hospital and funding to make the current building safe.
Officials from the Lynn and District Trades Council, which led the protest, said their campaign is "gathering steam", with the piles of postcards set to go to Mr Hancock to support the case continuing to grow.
But the group's secretary, Jo Rust, said it was already widely understood that arrangements were being made for Mr Hancock to visit the QEH and she feared the public would be taken "for fools" if that were now to happen.
She added: "Our campaign is gathering steam. I've sent out hundreds of postcards and leaflets and we're handing them out while we're at the QEH too.
"They're well received and people are incredibly glad that the Trades Council has taken such strong and decisive action.
"We're not doing this for glory, but because we need a new hospital. After all, we use it.
"I'm not persuaded by a very public Queen's Speech that the MP is working hard enough on this."