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An open letter to our community

From Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust Chairman, Professor Steve Barnett, and Chief Executive Caroline Shaw CBE

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)’s report, published yesterday, follows an unannounced inspection of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in December 2021 of three core services – Medicine, including elderly care, Urgent and Emergency Care, including the Emergency Department, and Critical Care. It also comes after an inspection earlier this year into how ‘Well-Led’ the hospital is.

In finding QEH ‘Good’ across all of these areas, the CQC have recommended that the Trust moves out of the ‘recovery support system’, previously called ‘special measures’.

This is extremely good news for local people and we hope this inspires confidence in our hospital. We know that QEH has a special place in the heart of our local community, and this report provides external evidence that we are very much moving in the right direction and are now well on the way to achieving our vision of becoming the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience.

Of course, most of our staff, volunteers and their friends and families live locally. We are also fortunate to have the unwavering support of so many local people who recognise, as we do, the commitment, dedication, and sheer hard work of everyone across Team QEH. Thank you.

This is a moment for celebration, but not for complacency. We know there is more to do, with inspections an opportunity to learn and improve. We will use the feedback in the report to guide where we need to concentrate our energies in the coming year. This includes continuing to do all we can to secure the much-needed capital investment we need to ensure a hospital that is fit for 2 purpose for the decades to come, and we remain grateful for the continued support we are receiving from so many for our case to bring a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. Please be assured, we continue to press our compelling case on all fronts.

We would like to thank everybody – the 4,000 team who make up Team QEH (including our staff and volunteers), and our wonderful local community – for your excellent support. We pledge to continue to build on the very strong foundations now in place to become the outstanding organisation that the local communities we serve deserves in the year to come and beyond, knowing that the best is yet to come for QEH.

Professor Steve Barnett, Chairman

Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive Officer