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Government responds to petition to rebuild King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital after it reaches 11,981 signatures




The government has responded to a petition by Love West Norfolk regarding a rebuild of the QEH.

The petition has 11,981 signatures which prompts a direct response from parliament.

The hospital has been in a state of disrepair for years and has backing from local government for a rebuild.

Jeremy Corbyn visits Lynn to talk about the NHS social care system and the QEH. Picture: Ian Burt
Jeremy Corbyn visits Lynn to talk about the NHS social care system and the QEH. Picture: Ian Burt

NHS workers and Lynn residents took to the streets earlier this year, with the support of MP Jeremy Corbyn saying: "We need a new hospital now."

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock visited the site and said the situation was "very serious".

Love West Norfolk launched the petition in July.

The department of health and social care said on the petition:"Our Health Infrastructure Plan sets out our approach to improving hospitals and health infrastructure to ensure our healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

Our Health Infrastructure Plan, first published in September 2019, is a strategic long-term investment to ensure our world-class healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

We have committed to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion. Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals by the end of the decade, the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

The QEH rally in the walks. Picture: Ian Burt
The QEH rally in the walks. Picture: Ian Burt

The 48 hospitals we will build, in addition to the 20 upgrades to hospitals already promised, together represent investment infrastructure across the whole country, another example of this Government’s mission to level up.

These commitments will result in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for both staff and patients that are the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving excellence in patient care.

Currently, the national programme comprises 8 pre-existing schemes and 40 new hospitals, totalling 48 hospitals. In October 2020, the government named 32 hospitals which will form part of the 40 new hospitals and is now calling for NHS trusts to submit their expressions of interest to be one of the next 8 hospitals.

Expressions of interest are invited from all NHS trusts in England who would like their plans to be considered, including from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, left, sees the problems in the QEH's Necton ward for herself
South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, left, sees the problems in the QEH's Necton ward for herself

This is the first of a two-stage selection process. It will be followed by a more detailed process for long-listed schemes later in the year. We aim to make a final decision in spring 2022.

The selection process will prioritise plans for:services which transform joined up care for people and provide an effective and safer working environment for NHS staff, in line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan, fair allocations of investment to level up across regions and provide value for money; and stronger and greener NHS buildings that make the most of modern methods of construction to support sustainable, greener and efficient design.

All the new hospitals will benefit from being part of the Government’s nationally led programme under the health infrastructure plan, ensuring the programme delivers value for money for use of the limited national public funding envelope available.

Experience will be shared across the schemes in the programme so they can be built as quickly as possible while prioritising standardisation, digital technology, sustainability and modern methods of construction.

This selection process will also inform the ongoing pipeline of investment through this programme, subject to future funding settlements.

We secured £110 million for 2021/22 to directly address issues relating to the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), on top of providing £4.2 billion to the NHS for trusts to support local priorities including to maintain and refurbish their premises.

To help address the immediate issues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital estate, more than £20 million has been provided this year and the Trust has also received £750,000 to prioritise and tackle its most urgent maintenance backlog."



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