Media Release

QEH completes Strategic Outline Case for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital has today (7 June) been completed to the timescale agreed and has received unanimous support from the full spectrum of partners and stakeholders across Norfolk and Waveney, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

The SOC sets out associated indicative costs and details of how the development of our preferred new hospital scheme would be managed with clear timescales for completion.

The current hospital has reached end of life (national experts say the current hospital has a 2030 deadline) due to being built from Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)

Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive, said: “This is an important milestone as we continue our work to secure the funding we desperately need for a new hospital. Our SOC focuses on ensuring that QEH is best placed to continue to fulfil its role in the area while improving clinical outcomes and patient, visitor and staff experience in a hospital that is fit for many decades to come.

“The SOC sets out our preferred new hospital scheme for a single-phase new build on our existing hospital site which will cost £862m. This is the only solution that will bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk ahead of the 2030 deadline and is the option that brings least disruption to patients and staff during the build and construction period. It also provides best value for money and return on investment.

“The new scheme will help to ensure that there is always a District General Hospital in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, delivering core services to our population. The new hospital would provide a once in a generation opportunity to transform and modernise healthcare, recognising regional historic under-investment in health and care in this part of the region. Consistent with our Clinical Strategy, it would enable QEH to become a centre of excellence for frailty and stroke, day surgery and regional anaesthesia, research and innovation, and same day emergency care.”

Graham Ward, QEH’s Acting Chair, said: “Being part of the New Hospital Programme would afford a once in a generation opportunity to bring world-class healthcare facilities to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, benefitting the communities we serve – and this has been unanimously supported by the people and organisations of Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

“We continue to wait to find out if we have made the longlist for the Government’s eight further new hospital schemes and expect to find out soon. We remain very confident we have an extremely strong and compelling case which we are continuing to press on all fronts for our patients, their loved ones, our staff and local community. A final decision on the further eight new hospital schemes is expected later in the year.”

The SOC is an important milestone and means that the Trust is ‘ready to go’ pending an announcement about which eight further new hospitals will be added to the national New Hospital Programme.

The organisation’s preferred new hospital scheme was identified and agreed by the Trust Board in December 2021. It is consistent with the Trust’s preferred Expression of Interest (EOI) which was submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care in September 2021 in a bid to become one of the eight further new hospital schemes and was the number one scheme chosen by NHS England and NHS Improvement for the East of England.

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To download the press release click here.

For further information, please contact Communications and Engagement Manager Charles Thomas, or 01553 613216.

Notes to editors:

  • We have a strong and well-known Case for Change driven by four key areas:
    • The current hospital has reached end of life (national experts say the current hospital has a 2030 deadline) due to Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)
    • Improvements recommended in patient and staff surveys – as well as in CQC inspection reports and described in the Trust’s risk register – relating to RAAC and operational impact on the running of and people’s experience of the hospital
    • Challenges in workforce retention and satisfaction relating to our estate and RAAC
    • The current hospital can no longer meet current or future forecast increases in demands