James Wild MP champions rebuilding of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn in Westminster Hall debate
The MP for North West Norfolk pressed his case for a speedy rebuild of Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a debate in Parliament.
James Wild was speaking at Westminster Hall in debate on the quality of care and the estate of the QEH.
He outlined the history of the hospital and how it had came to be in the position of having 470 steel and timber props holding up its roof in 56 parts of the building.
It was a "catastrophic risk" for patients and staff in the hospital, he said. Fully one-third of problems in the East of England with the deficient racked plank issues causing such problems were found at the QEH he said.
Mr Wild said that when Matt Hancock, the previous Secretary of State for Health visited the hospital many patients made light-hearted comments about the props surrounding them but in truth many did find it unnerving to be cared for in such conditions.
"The case is compelling," he said as he called for a single-phase rebuild which would not only deal with the rack problem but also give the hospital the capacity it now needed. The 70,000 patients attending A&E in a year is double what it was designed for when it opened.
He said 15,000 people had signed the petition calling for a new hospital to be built.
"When can we expect to hear a decision?" he asked during the debate on Wednesday.
Mr Wild was supported in the short debate by his Norfolk Conservative MP colleagues, Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, and Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk.
Mr Baker said he wondered what sort of confidence patients could have in the care they were receiving when cared for in such surroundings.
Replaying, health minister Edward Agar, paid tribute to Mr Wild and his fellow MPs for the effort they had put into getting a new hospital. They were determined champions for the cause, he said.
But he said he was unable to make any promise that the QEH would appear on the list of eight hospitals to be allocated funds to be rebuilt.
All he could say was that the chosen hospitals would be announced "later in the year" and that he was aware that the "purdah" period of local elections in early May would put it back.
He declined to be drawn on Mr Mayhew's suggestion that it would be a fitting tribute in her Jubilee year for a hospital named after the Queen's mother to be rebuilt.