Alternative site proposed for replacement West Norfolk hospital
We all want a new hospital for West Norfolk, but where exactly should it be built?
That question has been tackled in a new study, which proposes an alternative location to the current QEH site on Gayton Road.
Senior health chiefs and political leaders have been given copies of the report, which claims the hospital's current location is both "inadequate and unsustainable".
Instead, it recommends the use of a 100 acre greenfield site just off the A47 between Lynn and Middleton, and close to the Hardwick roundabout.
The study has been prepared by agents acting on behalf of the landowner, who has so far chosen to remain anonymous.
It says: "A new hospital would future-proof and right size the hospital for decades to come.
"It represents a generation opportunity to provide King's Lynn, and the greater surrounding area, with a sustainable service for the future, that meets current and future demand in line with the wider healthcare system requirements.
"The site is deliverable and available, and within a single ownership.
"It could address the challenges associated with re-location, and create hospital provision for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of people who are currently deprived of an effective, modern and fully functioning hospital."
It also argued that the alternative site offered the potential to help meet capacity challenges at other sites, such as the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital or Boston's Pilgrim Hospital, in a way the current QEH site, estimated to be around 60 acres, could not.
The scale of the structural crisis facing the QEH – where more than 200 props are currently being used to hold up its roof – has led to growing demands for action in recent months.
It is understood that copies of the study have been sent to figures including local political leaders, hospital bosses – who say they have already responded to it – and the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid.
QEH deputy chief executive Laura Skaife-Knight: “We are determined to do all we can to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
“We are developing our expression of interest so we can submit our strongest possible application to be one of the further eight new hospitals and our Strategic Outline Case (SOC) will be completed by November 2021.
“The SOC process will involve looking at on and off site options for a new build.
“Thank you to our fantastic local community and partners who have signed the petition to show their support, and playing their part in helping to give QEH the best chance of receiving the investment it deserves.
“We encourage people to back our bid to build our future, by signing the online petition before it’s too late.”