Council leader presses Secretary of State for QEH decision
Stuart Dark MBE confirmed the council’s long-standing, united, cross-party position that the QEH needs to be urgently replaced and said the discussions gave him: "much optimism for the outcome of the QEH bid."
On Thursday Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Leader Cllr Stuart Dark, MBE, met with Steve Barclay, MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in London, to once again push the case for a new hospital in King's Lynn and urge an imminent announcement on funding.
A unanimously-supported motion to council on 8 July 2021, stated that 'this council will continue to urge, on its own and with others, the Secretary of State for Health to urgently approve a new build hospital to replace the Queen Elizabeth and to fast track its build and design.'
The council's leadership has since regularly pressed for a new Hospital both in writing and in face-to-face meetings with central government, and staff established a community petition, which gained 15,000 signatures. The latest meeting took place in London on 9 February 2023 with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay MP.
Cllr Stuart Dark, Leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, said: "I was pleased that the Secretary of State was able to see James Wild MP and myself in London last week, particularly given his diary commitments.
"At our meeting I was able to once more state this council’s long-standing, united, cross-party position that the QEH needs to be urgently replaced and that the delay in an announcement of a funding decision was causing continuing concern.
"I was heartened that the Secretary of State clearly understood the serious challenges faced by the QEH specifically, and RAAC hospitals in general, and took on board the issue of our community needing as early an announcement as possible.
"This meeting, and the response from The Chief Secretary of the Treasury to James Wild's question in parliament earlier this week, has given me much optimism for the outcome of the QEH bid."
The Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk is committed to supporting its QEH colleagues and the case for a new hospital in King's Lynn, and will continue to do everything it can to magnify the messages and bring pressure to bear on the decision makers.
James Wild MP said:
"This was an important opportunity to underline to the Health Secretary the strong local support for the QEH to be included in the new hospitals programme and to support his welcome priority to fix the RAAC issues.
"I've worked closely with Cllr Stuart Dark on this campaign and value his steadfast support on behalf of the people of King's Lynn and West Norfolk to ensure we get the new hospital that patients and staff need.
"We will keep campaigning to achieve that."