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New fears for King's Lynn hospital bid following criticism of 'unachievable' Government plan

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Fresh questions have been raised about the prospect of rebuilding Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after the Government scheme it hopes to be part of was branded “unachievable”.

Officials have sought to play down reported criticism from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, following the leaking of a document to the Health Services Journal.

But campaigners here say they are worried about the revelations and their potential implications.

QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital. (26250312)
QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital. (26250312)

Lynn and District Trades Council secretary Jo Rust said yesterday: “The threat this poses to our local hospital isn’t something that we can allow to happen.”

The QEH is currently bidding to be included on a secondary list of eight additional hospital development schemes, having missed out on the initial programme of 40 announced in October 2020.

Senior officials there say they are continuing to work as planned on their proposals despite the concerns that have been raised.

The Trades Council has already distributed thousands of postcards to be sent to ministers to emphasise the need for improvements.

And Mrs Rust said more than 500 people signed letters calling for the QEH to be shortlisted and to get full funding for a new hospital during a campaign event at the weekend.

Concerns have been heightened by delays to the shortlisting process, although it is still maintained that a final decision will be made next spring.

National media reports have focused on the Government’s hospital commitments in recent days, after ministers made a U-turn and scrapped part of the HS2 rail project last week.

North West Norfolk Liberal Democrats chairman Rob Colwell said: “It’s incredibly worrying for West Norfolk when you see huge government investment commitments being torn up like HS2 for the North.

“The rebuild of hospitals hopefully like the QEH should be a priority and a commitment kept.”

The Department for Health and Social Care said: “The biggest hospital building programme in a generation is a decade long project, and at this early stage of the programme it is usual for there to be areas for development.

“The New Hospital Programme is addressing the IPA’s recommendations in detail, building on work already underway to develop the programme.

“We are fully committed to the delivery of all 48 hospitals by 2030, transforming the way we deliver healthcare infrastructure in the NHS.”

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