Published: Monday, 10th May 2021
A letter signed by members of the West Norfolk Partnership Strategy Group has been sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock.
The letter, urging him to fund a new hospital for King's Lynn & West Norfolk, cites the unacceptable safety risks inherent in the current building, which is being held up by around 200 props in over 40 areas of the hospital. It also cites the impact that emergency repair work has had on the effective running of the hospital, with the recent closure of the intensive care unit resulting in cancelled operations and delays for elective and day procedures.
The letter goes on to detail some of the benefits of having a new hospital, not least of which cost savings, efficiencies through transformed and integrated services and of course a future-proofed, fit-for-purpose hospital to meet the needs of a growing population.
Lorraine Gore, Chief Executive of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk and one of the signatories on the letter, said: "We want to understand why the people of west Norfolk are being left behind. They deserve the improved clinical outcomes that can be delivered in 21st-century facilities. King's Lynn was not on the original list of 40 hospitals included in the 2020 spending review. We implore the Government to make sure that King's Lynn is on the list for funding that is likely to be announced this autumn.
"A modern, efficient hospital for west Norfolk is vital and should, or rather, must be prioritised for this funding."
David Pomfret, CWA Principal, said: “We urge the government to invest in our local healthcare provision to provide a safe and modern hospital facility for West Norfolk and the surrounding areas. The pre-existing problems the hospital faces have been compounded by the impact of the pandemic, which has further stressed the severity of the situation and the need to invest appropriately in our local healthcare provision.
"We have a strong partnership with the QEH and other stakeholders in West Norfolk, with a new School of Nursing Studies set to take on the first cohort of QEH staff in early 2022. The School of Nursing Studies will create a wealth of local career and skills development opportunities for QEH staff members and West Norfolk, and provide modern, state-of-the-art training facilities for our apprentices.
"This project, combined with a successful bid for a new local hospital, would mean the very best of talent can stay local, improve the stability and quality of the QEH workforce and support the West Norfolk economy, as well as the wellbeing of communities in the local area."
The West Norfolk Partnership is a strategic Alliance of public sector and other providers in west Norfolk working together to improve the lives of our residents, support business and increase tourism. An example is the Love West Norfolk campaign and current plans include working with Active Norfolk to improve the fitness and wellbeing of our residents. The WNP ensures strategic and operational decisions take into account the wider needs of the borough.