James Wild MP welcomes “momentous” government commitment to build new QEH hospital
North West Norfolk MP James Wild has welcomed the announcement by the Health Secretary that the Queen Elizabeth hospital (QEH) will now be included in the government’s New Hospitals Programme with a new hospital in Lynn by 2030.
In setting out a new approach to the New Hospitals programme, the Health Secretary Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP confirmed the government has accepted the compelling case for QEH to be part of the New Hospitals Programme due to major structural issues caused by concrete planks known as Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the buildings. Nearly 80% of QEH’s estate was constructed using RAAC and experts advise the buildings have an end of life of 2030. The commitment today means there will be a new hospital built in time to replace it.
QEH will be added to the largest hospital building programme in generations. The Health Secretary confirmed that over £50 billion has been allocated to the programme. Schemes will be based on the “Hospital 2.0” design approach using Modern Methods of Construction to deliver schemes more efficiently, quickly, and at better value for money.
Commenting James Wild MP said:
“It is fantastic news that QEH will be one of the new hospitals that the government is committed to building by 2030. Following more than three years of hard campaigning, I’m delighted the compelling case I’ve been putting forward for a new hospital has been accepted. This success was only possible by working closely with Team QEH, local MPs, councils, and having strong local support.
This means a hospital fit for the future will be built and it is a momentous day for West Norfolk. Now I will work with QEH, the NHS, and government to deliver the new hospital patients and staff deserve by 2030.”
The QEH Trust will now work with the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England on scoping, design, and business case work. Funding for RAAC mitigation measures – which has already seen tens of millions allocated to QEH to carry out fail safe work – is protected to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
Securing a new QEH has been James’ priority since he was elected in December 2019. Since raising the need for major investment in QEH in his first speech in Parliament, James has repeatedly used parliamentary questions, debates, ministerial visits to QEH, countless meetings with ministers, and media interviews to argue for QEH to be added to the new hospitals programme. In recent months he has met regularly with the Health Secretary, Treasury ministers, and the Prime Minister’s advisers to develop the plan for QEH’s inclusion in the programme announced today.
In July, the Health Secretary visited QEH with James just a week after taking on his new role to discuss the case for a new hospital. He saw props across the hospital and spoke to staff and patients on Necton Ward about the impact on care. He subsequently made finding a solution for the RAAC hospitals his priority. His visit to QEH followed that by previous health ministers.
Throughout the campaign, James has worked closely with local MPs whose constituents rely on QEH including Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, Duncan Baker MP, Jerome Mayhew MP, Richard Bacon MP, George Freeman MP, and Rt Hon Sir John Hayes MP.