Following the motion passed unanimously by Norfolk County Council in support of a new hospital, James spoke to Radio Norfolk about the campaign.
James welcomed the support expressed by Norfolk County Council, as well as the community campaign, and local media support for investment to deliver the hospital patients and staff deserve.
James raised the case for QEH to be one of the additional 8 new hospitals the government has committed to again in the House of Commons last week. He referred to Matt Hancock's confirmation that he is looking very closely at the case for investment in QEH.
While welcoming the £20 million this year to deal with the most immediate issues, James called this a "sticking plaster" and that investment is needed for a new hospital or substantial rebuild which will deliver healthier outcomes, support innovation, and make better use of digital technology. He said this isn't about "replacing a building with a building. It is about what this can mean for West Norfolk" particularly when there is considerable housing growth planned in the area and demand for healthcare will continue to grow.
He reassured patients and staff that the Trust Chief Executive and Board are managing the risks associated with the concrete planks with regular inspections and the props are there to manage issues identified. He said people should continue to go to the hospital for treatment.
In the coming weeks, criteria for the additional 8 schemes as part of the new hospital programme are due to be published.