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A new Queen Elizabeth Hospital - position statement

Today (Thursday 9 September 2021), we have submitted our bids to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

We have submitted two Expressions of Interest to the Department of Health and Social Care – one for a single-phase full new build and another for a multi-phase development.

While a single-phase new build would cost less and deliver much greater benefits, we understand the restraints of national capital budgets – and so we have also submitted one for a multi-phase development. A multi-phase development provides a scalable option that still delivers some benefits and would be a vast improvement on our current estate. We have done this to give us the very best chance of securing the national funding we so badly need.

We are confident that we have a very strong case. The simple truth is that our buildings are in a desperate state and have reached the end of their life – with 210 props in 46 areas of the hospital, we are the most propped hospital in the country.

A new hospital that is fit for the future will enable us to provide outstanding care in world-class facilities and meet the demands of our growing and ageing population. We are ambitious to become the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience and a new hospital is central to achieving this ambition.

Understandably, there continues to be lots of interest in the safety of our estate and our plans to address it from our patients, local community and staff. We are taking proactive steps to maximise safety at our hospital. This includes a rolling programme of onsite surveys and maintenance as well as £20.6m emergency national capital investment in facilities that will enable the modernisation of our hospital, and in turn allow the installation of failsafes (to reduce the risk of RAAC plank failures) which will improve the safety and delivery of some services. The final element of our approach is doing what is necessary to have a fit for the future hospital that our patients and staff deserve.

As a RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital will continue to need significant annual investment until such a time as a long-term sustainable solution for the hospital can be confirmed.

This is why it is so important for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to get on the Government’s list of eight new hospitals. The Trust Board at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is very clear that a new hospital is the only long-term sustainable solution to the challenges we face. We expect to find out this autumn if we have been selected to go through to the next stage of the assessment process for the Government’s New Hospital Programme, with a final decision on the eight new hospital schemes to be announced Spring 2022.

We are delighted with the support we are receiving from our local communities.

Thank you to everyone who has signed the e-petition to help us become one of the eight additional Government-funded hospitals.

Whilst the national application process is underway, we will continue to focus on the development of our Strategic Outline Case which will review on and off-site options for a potential new hospital – and ensure that if we are selected for investment our schemes are ready to go.

Thank you for your interest in a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We will continue to keep our patients and local communities we serve across Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire informed.

 


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