'Keep building your case', ministers urge King's Lynn hospital bosses
Health chiefs in Lynn have been urged to keep building their case for rebuilding the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, despite the site missing out on major investment thus far.
The encouragement comes in letters from two Government ministers, which have been released this week.
They were written in response to a letter signed by both West Norfolk’s MPs - Liz Truss and James Wild - plus members for several neighbouring areas served by the Gayton Road site.
The correspondence to the Department for Health and Social Care came after the QEH missed out on a list of 40 new hospitals, which the Government has pledged to build by 2030, last autumn.
It said: “The Trust has significant ambitions for the future including a collaboration with the College of West Anglia for a School of Nursing and improved working with the wider community.
“Within West Norfolk and adjacent districts, there are plans for significant housing growth, and more people are relocating to the area for jobs and lifestyle.
“It is therefore vital we have the appropriate healthcare provision in place.”
The signatories to the letter also included Norfolk MPs Duncan Baker, Jerome Mayhew and George Freeman, as well as South Holland MP Sir John Hayes.
In response, Health Minister Edward Argar said he would meet QEH bosses to discuss their plans, while plans for a second bidding process for eight more new hospitals will be developed “in due course.”
He added: “We will continue to work closely with trusts and regions to ensure that when the process does take place, the criteria for selection meets the needs of the NHS.
“In the meantime, trusts seeking new facilities should continue developing their plans and priorities for local NHS infrastructure.
“They should also discuss their proposals with NHS England and NHS Improvement to help consider the priority of their schemes and whether they should be further developed at this time.”
Similar encouragement was also provided in a separate response by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Fenland MP, Steve Barclay.
The release of the letters comes after QEH bosses set out their vision for a healthcare village at the hospital in last Friday’s Lynn News, as part of the Back The Bid Build Our Future campaign launched in December.
Mr Wild said this week: “Securing additional investment for QEH is my priority and the Trust has developed a strong vision for a modern approach to healthcare.
“I’ll continue to make the case for facilities that the staff and patients across West Norfolk and beyond deserve.”