Media Release

A successful year for QEH – Trust’s Annual Report and Accounts show year-on-year improvements to patient care and experience

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust has today published its Annual Report and audited Accounts which evidences a very impressive journey of improvement, with the hospital well on the way to achieving its vision of being the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience.

The Annual Report provides wide-ranging information about the Trust’s performance over the past year, including financial and workforce data, performance against key targets as well as details of improvements and achievements.

QEH has seen a significant rise in demand for its services during 2021/22, with the Annual report showing that:

  • 80,057 patients attended our Emergency Department (9,676 more than in 2020/21, an increase of 14%) 
  • We treated 47,244 elective and non-elective inpatients (6,431 more than 2020/21, an increase of 29%)
  • We carried out 28,518 day case procedures (8,679 more than 2020/21, a 44% increase)
  • 71,049 new outpatient appointments took place (8,262 less than 2020/21) and 180,661 follow-up appointments (26,659 less than 2020/21)
  • 2,065 babies were born at our hospital (110 more than 2020/21)

Welcoming the Annual Report’s publication, Chief Executive Caroline Shaw, CBE said: “We are proud of all that Team QEH has achieved over the last year, against a backdrop of some of the most difficult circumstances that we have ever known in the NHS. The figures included in the report demonstrate the scale of demand on our services and how we have more than risen to the challenge of meeting them.”

The Annual Report includes details about the following key areas:

Financial performance – QEH achieved its financial plan for the third year running and was one of very few Trusts nationally to continue its Cost Improvement Programme, achieving £6.3m in savings in line with plans set by its regulator. QEH was awarded £12.9m in revenue funding to support elective recovery by reducing waiting lists and treating more patients.

Operational performance – an important part of measuring the quality and effectiveness of the care provided is based on how quickly the Trust treats cancer, elective and emergency patients. QEH achieved six of the seven national cancer targets in 2021/22.

QEH focussed on improving the experience of emergency patients and flow in and through the Emergency Department (ED) and out of the hospital. This included introducing primary care streaming at the front door to ensure that patients who arrive at the ED for treatment can be seen by a GP and are able to access the right service. Timely care will remain a big focus for the Trust in 2022/23 and beyond for all of QEH patients.

QEH continues to be one of the most research-active Trusts in the country and recruited more than 1,000 participants to National Institute for Health Research portfolio studies in 2021/22 – an increase of 33% compared to 2019/20.

Ongoing response to COVID-19 – this included the delivery of more than 120,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at the QEH and Downham Market vaccination centres and contacting 389 patients who either definitely or probably contracted COVID-19 in the Trust’s care as part of a Duty of Candour exercise, as part of a commitment to being open and transparent. This approach received national recognition.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection results – the Trust received a ‘Good’ rating for Well-Led and is now rated ‘Good’ in three domains – Caring, Well-Led and Effective.

Plans to modernise our hospital estates and facilities – recognising the significant challenges with its ageing estate, QEH submitted two Expressions of Interest to the Department of Health and Social Care in a bid to become one of Government’s eight further new hospital schemes and approved an Estates Strategy which sets out an overall site ‘masterplan’ and ambition for a new hospital. QEH also attracted more than £42m capital funding (a record for the Trust) to carry out vital modernisation work through a series of services improvements, and to install steel and timber support props where needed to reduce the risk of plank failures in the roof of the buildings to maximise safety.

QEH People Plan – the Trust’s ongoing work to create a culture where patients are always put first, where kindness is the norm and where staff feel valued and are comfortable speaking up, and know they will be listened to, remains an area of focus, recognising that QEH has some way to go here.

Acting Trust Chair, Graham Ward said: “QEH has made significant progress in many areas, but we still have more work to do. Our focus for the next 12 months remains very much on ensuring our patients consistently receive timely care, achieving our financial plan and delivering our capital programme while delivering £8m in Cost Improvement Programme savings and further modernising our estate, including maximising the safety of our current hospital, and securing investment for a new hospital. 

These are tough but achievable ambitions and will help us to move even closer to becoming the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience.”


For further information, please contact the Communications Team, or 01553 613216.

Notes to editors:

  • To arrange an interview with Caroline Shaw, CEO, or for further information, please contact the Communications Team, or 01553 613216.
  • The Annual Report and audited Accounts can be downloaded here. There are full and summary versions
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected three core services during their unannounced visit in December 2021 – Medicine, Urgent and Emergency Care (including the Emergency Department) and Critical Care. All three services were rated ‘Good’ overall. The inspection team returned in January 2022 to complete a Well-Led inspection which resulted in a ‘Good’ rating for the Trust. This means QEH is now ‘Good’ in three domains – Caring, Well Led and Effective.
  • The Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital was completed in June 2022 with unanimous support from partners and stakeholders across Norfolk, 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).

To download the press release, click here.