New protest planned as King's Lynn hospital boss reveals roof prop total climbs to 194
A fresh protest is set to take place outside Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital tomorrow to demand both a new facility and urgent action to fix the existing buildings there.
The move comes as bosses revealed that dozens more steel props are now being used to hold up the roof around the Gayton Road site.
The latest socially distanced demonstration, due to take place between 4 and 5pm on Wednesday, is being organised by the Lynn and District Trades Council, which staged a similar event last month.
And its secretary, Jo Rust, says more protests will follow.
She said: "We know that there’s a desperate need for a new hospital and for funding to maintain the current building.
"This won’t come to fruition unless we show that the people in King’s Lynn care deeply about this matter and are willing to take action to get it.
"We plan to hold weekly demonstrations to ensure that the public remain aware of the need.”
The development comes after the recent admission by a top civil servant that officials in the Department of Health saw the condition of the QEH as a "matter of concern."
But the case for substantial action is further strengthened by papers to be presented to a meeting of the hospital's board of directors this morning, which shows the number of steel props being used to hold up the roof around the site has now increased to 194.
Chief executive Caroline Shaw welcomed the recent allocation of more than £20 million of additional money to help maintain the current buildings in her report.
She said the cash would "fund some of the short-term fixes and improvements needed, which is welcomed, and will ensure we do what is necessary to keep our hospital safe."
She added that work on a strategic outline case for a new hospital building is expected to be completed by the end of the year and discussions are continuing with external stakeholders.
Last week, health minister Edward Argar announced that details of the bidding process through which the QEH might secure rebuild funding will be set out "in the coming weeks."
The QEH is hoping to be included on a secondary list of eight new hospital projects, after missing out on the government's initial list of 40 new hospitals last year.