King's Lynn hospital to share £70 million in extra NHS funding
A new diagnosis and assessment centre is set to be developed at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as part of a multi-million pound funding boost for the NHS in Norfolk.
Bosses have warmly welcomed the programme, which is part of a £1.8 billion funding boost for the service across England announced by the government this morning.
Almost £70 million is set to be spent on improved facilities at Norfolk's main hospitals – the QEH, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston.
The new centres are intended to improve diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.
Details of the investment were unveiled ahead of a scheduled speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Lincolnshire.
QEH chief executive Caroline Shaw said staff were "over the moon" at the announcement.
She added: “This centre will make a big difference to our patients, as it will aid rapid diagnosis and assessment of cancerous and non-cancerous diseases.
“We are delighted to be working closely with our partners, The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and James Paget, to improve facilities for patients.”
Critics of the announcement have claimed that the announcement is nowhere near enough.
Labour's Jo Rust said: “Of course additional funding has to be welcomed.
“However, it’s vital that we are cognisant of the fact that this is a drop in the ocean and doesn’t go far enough to make up for the years of underfunding it has suffered.
“There’s currently a backlog of maintenance work that will cost £6 billion.
“I urge our elected representative to lobby Matthew Hancock for our NHS to be properly funded so we can build it back up to be a world leader.”
But South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss said the investment would be "transformational for patients and staff."
A further £65 million has been pledged for mental health and community services in parts of Norfolk.
And Ms Truss said: "There is a significant drive to see progress at the hospital and I am keen to see the improvements take place as soon as possible.
"I know access to first class health care is a priority for residents with improved provision of mental health facilities.
"It is is an issue I have raised with the Department for Health, so today’s announcement is extremely positive."