The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn (QEH) is a busy district general hospital which serves around 331,000 people across West and North Norfolk, as well as parts of Breckland, North Cambridgeshire and South Lincolnshire.
We employ more than 4,000 staff and volunteers who are committed to collaborating with partners to deliver safe, high-quality care. We were authorised as a Foundation Trust in 2011 and have 530 beds and 33 wards.
At QEH we have the ambition of being the best rural district general hospital for patient and staff experience.
A new hospital by 2030
In May 2023, we took a big step towards this aim as it was announced that the QEH had been added to the Government's New Hospital Programme, and that a new state-of-the-art hospital will be opening its doors by 2030.
Maintaining our existing site
While a new hospital is our goal, we must continue to work to maintain our current site. As a hospital made made from Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), a lightweight form of concrete used to manufacture pre-cast planks, our current building was only designed to last until 2010.
We continue to face the challenges associated with being a RAAC hospital and our highest priority is always the safety of our patients, staff and visitors. We are running an extensive three-year programme of maintenance with £80m in national capital, including the installation of internal roof supports to help mitigate failing roof RAAC planks, to maximise the safety of our current buildings.
Improving care and services
As a lead and active member in the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System we are committed to working with our regional system partners to improve care and services for our patients as well as responding to extreme pressures faced by the NHS as a whole.
As a Trust we continue to make strong progress and can evidence significant improvements in many areas. These include:
- Maintaining a focus on timely access to urgent and emergency care as well as addressing waiting lists that have built up for elective care
- Reconfigured Emergency Department - in October 2023 we opened the doors to a new look ED following a £2.7m refurbishment to provide an enhanced environment for patients and staff
- Opening outstanding new facilities which are already making a difference to the experience of our patients and staff, including a new state-of-the-art £12.5m Endoscopy Unit, the £3m West Norfolk Eye Centre, the Emerson Unit, our dedicated Outpatient Unit, a new second dementia-friendly ward (West Dereham) and a purpose-built maternity ward (Brancaster)
- Beginning work on our new Diagnostic Centre, on the left as you enter our site, which will drive forward a reduction in waiting times by increasing capacity of diagnostic imaging for outpatients. The Diagnostic Centre will house cutting-edge MRI and CT scanners as well as X-ray and Ultrasound imaging used for diagnoses and monitoring of a very wide range of conditions. This exciting facility is due to open in Autumn 2024
- Significant improvements in digital maturity including progress towards an Electronic Patient Record across all three acute hospitals in Norfolk and Waveney, and a patient observation management system
- Implementing the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) alongside partners, which replaces the Serious Incident Framework. The framework is a major step towards improving safety management, with a focus on effective learning and improvement
- Supporting staff with a comprehensive health and wellbeing programme and commitment to listening, valuing and acting on staff feedback
Our services in numbers
In 2022/23, we:
- Cared for more than 80,000 people in our Emergency Department
- Performed more than 28,000 day-case procedures
- Welcomed more than 2,000 babies
- Treated more than 47,000 elective and non-elective inpatients
- Held more than 21,000 new outpatient appointments and over 180,000 follow-up appointments
We provide acute services for the following specialties:
- Accident and Emergency
- Acute Medicine Unit (AMU)
- Acute Medicine Clinic (AMC)
- Anaesthetics and theatres
- Breast care
- Cancer day care
- Cancer services
- Clinical psychology
- Day Surgery
- Dermatology and plastic surgery
- Ear, nose and throat (ENT)
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- Electromyography (EMG)
- General medicine
- General surgery
- Oral Surgery
- Pain management
- Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC)
- Sterile Services
- Trauma and Orthopaedics
- Upper Gastro-Intestinal
We have a renal dialysis unit, which is an outreach unit of the nephrology service in Cambridge. Our oncology service is supplemented by additional facilities in Cambridge and thoracic and plastic surgery services are provided by our neighbouring provider, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.