The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities, The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP visited The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) on Friday 9 July.
The Secretary of State met with senior leaders, including Chairman, Professor Steve Barnett, and Chief Executive, Caroline Shaw CBE, to receive an update on the progress QEH has made as it continues on its journey of improvement.
The Secretary of State was briefed on the proactive work the Trust is carrying out to improve the safety of its ageing estate, following the welcome allocation of £20.6 million in emergency capital funds, which will allow the hospital to create decant facilities for wards and theatres allowing installation of failsafes in year one of a three year programme.
The Trust’s longer-term ambition is to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk so that patients, the local community and staff have the local hospital they deserve and one that is fit for the future. QEH submitted a case for a new hospital building last Autumn and has commenced the development of a Strategic Outline Case, building on last year’s submission, which will be completed by the end of 2021.
International Trade Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Elizabeth Truss said: “I had a really helpful and productive discussion with the leadership team and also met some of the brilliant staff delivering vital health care in West Norfolk. Obviously our priority is very much to secure a new build hospital in King’s Lynn and I have already raised this directly with the new Health Secretary. Government funding of £20 million has been made available to support the ongoing structural concerns however we all recognise that a long-term solution needs to be found and I will continue to work with the hospital, fellow MPs and councillors to make the case to Sajid Javid.”
Professor Steve Barnett, Chairman at QEH commented: “We are grateful to the Secretary of State for making the time to visit QEH. The Secretary of State listened and shared her views on a range of topics, including the Trust’s continued journey of improvement, the Trust’s focus on elective recovery and restoration, and how we are proactively addressing our estate challenges whilst having a longer-term ambition to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.”
Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive at QEH, said: “I’m really pleased that we were able to welcome the Secretary of State for a visit to QEH today to showcase the many improvements to patient and staff experience we have made over the last two years. We discussed our improvement journey and how we are investing in our estate and digital infrastructure. Key to this is our ambition to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk to improve the experience for our patients and staff.”