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Petition Prioritise funding for a new hospital for King's Lynn & West Norfolk

A new hospital for King's Lynn & West Norfolk should be prioritised for funding in forthcoming funding announcements, and support provided to fast-track its design and build, to ensure the area has a modern, fit-for-purpose hospital that meets the needs of patients, staff and visitors.

More details

Our local Queen Elizabeth Hospital is still in use well past its intended operational lifespan.

Papers published by the hospital Board show that there are 200 props presently holding up the roof of the hospital to ensure safety.

Staff deliver quality care in spite of these dreadful conditions, and £20m emergency government funding is welcome, but does not adequately address the issue, only the interim safety concerns.

A new hospital, at the heart of the community, is vital and will play a huge role in the region's integrated care system now and in the future.

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Government responded

This response was given on 19 October 2021

Our Health Infrastructure Plan sets out our approach to improving hospitals and health infrastructure to ensure our healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

Read the response in full

We fully recognise the need to invest in improving health infrastructure across the country, including where Trusts have identified significant issues. Application for new hospitals need to be part of the programme for new hospitals and follow the formal application process. This requires service planning and prioritisation at system level through their Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). Applications for 8 further new hospital schemes have recently been submitted to the department and are currently under review. Funding for new hospitals beyond this commitment will depend on future capital funding settlements through the Treasury Spending Review.

Our Health Infrastructure Plan, first published in September 2019, is a strategic long-term investment to ensure our world-class healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

We have committed to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion. Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals by the end of the decade, the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

The 48 hospitals we will build, in addition to the 20 upgrades to hospitals already promised, together represent investment infrastructure across the whole country, another example of this Government’s mission to level up.

These commitments will result in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for both staff and patients that are the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving excellence in patient care.

Currently, the national programme comprises 8 pre-existing schemes and 40 new hospitals, totalling 48 hospitals. In October 2020, the government named 32 hospitals which will form part of the 40 new hospitals and is now calling for NHS trusts to submit their expressions of interest to be one of the next 8 hospitals.

Expressions of interest were invited from all NHS trusts in England who would like their plans to be considered for prioritisation of funding for a new hospital, including from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn. The submission deadline has now passed and we aim to announce the successful schemes in spring 2022, following a thorough selection process.

The selection process will prioritise plans for:

o services which transform joined up care for people and provide an effective and safer working environment for NHS staff, in line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan;

o fair allocations of investment to level up across regions and provide value for money; and

o stronger and greener NHS buildings that make the most of modern methods of construction to support sustainable, greener and efficient design.

All the new hospitals will benefit from being part of the Government’s nationally led programme under the Health Infrastructure Plan, ensuring the programme delivers value for money for use of the limited national public funding envelope available.

Experience will be shared across the schemes in the programme so they can be built as quickly as possible while prioritising standardisation, digital technology, sustainability and modern methods of construction.

This selection process will also inform the ongoing pipeline of investment through this programme, subject to future funding settlements. It would not be appropriate to prioritise King’s Lynn, QEH, or any other hospital out with that formal process or prematurely pre-judging it at this stage.

More broadly, we secured £110 million for 2021/22 to directly address issues relating to the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), on top of providing £4.2 billion to the NHS for trusts to support local priorities including to maintain and refurbish their premises. To help address the immediate issues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital estate, more than £20 million has been provided this year and the Trust has also received £750,000 to prioritise and tackle its most urgent maintenance backlog.

Department of Health and Social Care

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/590390)

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Original Government response

Our Health Infrastructure Plan sets out our approach to improving hospitals and health infrastructure to ensure our healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

Our Health Infrastructure Plan, first published in September 2019, is a strategic long-term investment to ensure our world-class healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

We have committed to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion. Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals by the end of the decade, the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

The 48 hospitals we will build, in addition to the 20 upgrades to hospitals already promised, together represent investment infrastructure across the whole country, another example of this Government’s mission to level up.

These commitments will result in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for both staff and patients that are the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving excellence in patient care.

Currently, the national programme comprises 8 pre-existing schemes and 40 new hospitals, totalling 48 hospitals. In October 2020, the government named 32 hospitals which will form part of the 40 new hospitals and is now calling for NHS trusts to submit their expressions of interest to be one of the next 8 hospitals.

Expressions of interest are invited from all NHS trusts in England who would like their plans to be considered, including from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn.

This is the first of a two-stage selection process. It will be followed by a more detailed process for long-listed schemes later in the year. We aim to make a final decision in spring 2022.

The selection process will prioritise plans for:

  • services which transform joined up care for people and provide an effective and safer working environment for NHS staff, in line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan;

  • fair allocations of investment to level up across regions and provide value for money; and

  • stronger and greener NHS buildings that make the most of modern methods of construction to support sustainable, greener and efficient design.

All the new hospitals will benefit from being part of the Government’s nationally led programme under the Health Infrastructure Plan, ensuring the programme delivers value for money for use of the limited national public funding envelope available.

Experience will be shared across the schemes in the programme so they can be built as quickly as possible while prioritising standardisation, digital technology, sustainability and modern methods of construction.

This selection process will also inform the ongoing pipeline of investment through this programme, subject to future funding settlements.

We secured £110 million for 2021/22 to directly address issues relating to the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), on top of providing £4.2 billion to the NHS for trusts to support local priorities including to maintain and refurbish their premises. To help address the immediate issues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital estate, more than £20 million has been provided this year and the Trust has also received £750,000 to prioritise and tackle its most urgent maintenance backlog.

Department of Health and Social Care

This response was given on 6 September 2021. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

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