A new hospital will be built to replace the existing QEH
CEO Alice Webster said: "A huge, huge thank you to everybody who has been involved in the decision we've just heard."
The current hospital is crumbling because it was constructed with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and there are 4,394 steel and timber support props in 56 areas of the hospital – eight times more props than beds. The safety work is ongoing in the hospital and this does impact the operational running - four theatres are unable to be used at this time.
Coming after years of continuous campaigning including visits by health ministers, trips to Parliament, letters to government, weekly protests at the hospital, magazine and newspaper articles and petitions the news has been welcomed by everyone.
Following the announcement in the House of Commons today, James Wild MP said: “It is fantastic news that QEH will be one of the new hospitals that the government is committed to building by 2030. Following more than three years of hard campaigning, I’m delighted the compelling case I’ve been putting forward for a new hospital has been accepted. This success was only possible by working closely with Team QEH, local MPs, councils, and having strong local support.
“This means a hospital fit for the future will be built and it is a momentous day for West Norfolk. Now I will work with QEH, the NHS, and government to deliver the new hospital patients and staff deserve by 2030.”
Councillor Terry Parish, Leader of Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk said: “This is a much awaited and welcome announcement. We value the work that the executive team, previous leader, Cllr Rust and all the residents of West Norfolk have put in to ensure our case was strong and compelling.”
Leader of the Conservative group Cllr Stuart Dark said: "I am absolutely delighted that the government has confirmed funding for a new QEH. It's been a long difficult journey, but we've got there. Over the last couple of years, as someone closely engaged in the effort to convince decision makers a long way from West Norfolk of the strength of the case and dire need, I've seen first hand how hard the QEH's leadership and bid teams have worked, supported by James Wild MP, LIz Truss MP, the Borough Council's leadership, individual Councillors, surrounding partners, the local media and the public. I couldn't be more proud of the collective, collaborative effort that led to this huge, vital success for us all.'
Campaigner and Borough Councillor Jo Rust said: "Today is the day we’ve waited and campaigned for, for over two years. The feeing of relief after all our campaign work is huge. Our campaign has worked tirelessly and lobbied the MPs, been to parliament many times, sent tens of thousands of letter to the various health secretaries and ensured that the needs of our hospital have remained at the forefront of the media. We’ve done this for all RAAC hospitals and not just our own. I’m delighted to have finally heard, but I’ll keep my eye on the ball as the devil will be in the detail."
Chair & Parliamentary Spokesperson for North West Norfolk Liberal Democrats Rob Colwell said: "What fantastic news for West Norfolk and the entire region. The future of the QEH in my county division has appeared grim for years, plagued by delays and a lack of information about the rebuild. It has been a destabilising and uncertain time, but today, I am overjoyed by the wonderful news of the excellent reconstruction. The power of community action is truly remarkable. Countless people in West Norfolk have signed petitions, postcards, and giant scrolls. We gathered in the park, marched through King's Lynn, and protested outside the hospital. I'm aware that health trusts across the UK, all struggling for much-needed funds, must have looked upon our efforts with envy. The people of West Norfolk should take pride in their actions that led to this incredible achievement.
"Here in King's Lynn, we have a clear deadline. We have been informed that the temporary supports and structures will only hold until 2030. We have a seven-year window to gain approval and complete the construction without any further delays.
"I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the staff at the QEH for their unwavering dedication throughout this challenging period. They have worked tirelessly under incredibly difficult circumstances, and their commitment is truly admirable."