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Steve Barclay gives green light to replace QEH and Hinchingbrooke

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The Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn and Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, are to be rebuilt.

Health Minister and NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay – whose son was born at the QEH – made the announcement today.

The King’s Lynn and Huntingdon hospitals will be two of five new hospitals to be built- each will constructed mostly using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

 

The deadline for completion of each is 2030.

He said the Government also remains committed to building 40 new hospitals by 2030

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Government confirmed for the first time the New Hospital Programme is now expected to be backed by over £20 billion of investment in hospital infrastructure

MP – and former prime minister – Liz Truss agreed that facilities at the QEH were “not fit for purpose”. Her comments came after a fact finding visit to the hospital today. PHOTO: QEH

MP – and former prime minister – Liz Truss agreed that facilities at the QEH were “not fit for purpose”. Her comments came after a fact finding visit to the hospital. PHOTO: QEH

Apart from King’s Lynn and Huntingdon, three replacement hospitals are pledged for Airedale in West Yorkshire, Mid Cheshire Leighton in Cheshire and Frimley Park in Surrey will go ahead.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “These five hospitals are in pressing need of repair and are being prioritised so patients and staff can benefit from major new hospital buildings, equipped with the latest technology.

“On top of this I’m strengthening our New Hospital Programme by today confirming that it is expected to represent more than £20 billion of new investment in hospital infrastructure.”

Two years ago Mr Barclay revealed that his son was  born at the QEH “so I know from personal experience how important it is to many families in the constituency and beyond,” he said.

“The hospital is 40 years old and there comes a time when repeated short term fixes become more costly and less patient friendly than starting afresh.

“I will work with colleagues to support their campaign to see the QEH on the list for funding.”

He  said: “Many of my constituents will have paid a visit to the hospital at one time or another.

“Recent visitors will have seen that the roof is currently supported by almost 200 metal poles.

“I will work with colleagues to support their campaign to see the QEH on the list for funding.”

Mr Barclay said that he had always been “a fierce advocate” for health being delivered as a close to home as possible.

And in particular this was essential for “low risk, high volume, routine services.

“However, it’s also important that we have fit-for-purpose major hospitals to deal with complex needs and procedures.” ‘Valentine’s’ protest by QEH supporters in Wisbech earlier this month

‘Valentine’s’ protest by QEH supporters in WisbechA spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “These hospitals all have significant amounts of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), a lightweight type of concrete used to construct parts of the NHS estate in the past but has a limited lifespan, after which it deteriorates significantly.

“The NHS has asked the government to prioritise the rebuilding of these hospitals given the risks they pose to patients and staff – the full extent of which has come to light since the New Hospital Programme was first announced in 2020.”

Two of the worst affected hospitals – West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and James Paget Hospital in Norfolk – have already been announced as of the New Hospital Programme” and the construction of these major new hospitals will be prioritised to ensure patient and staff safety”.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “These five hospitals are in pressing need of repair and are being prioritised so patients and staff can benefit from major new hospital buildings, equipped with the latest technology.

The protestors who gathered outside MP Steve Barclay’s constituency office in March last Saturday.

The protestors who gathered outside MP Steve Barclay’s constituency office in March during the campaign to replace the QEH

“On top of this I’m strengthening our New Hospital Programme by today confirming that it is expected to represent more than £20 billion of new investment in hospital infrastructure.

Jonathan Djanogly, Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon constituency, has today warmly welcomed the news that funding for a new hospital in Huntingdonshire, on the Hinchingbrooke site, has been secured from the Government.

“Today’s announcement is a hugely significant milestone in the campaign for a new Hinchingbrooke hospital to meet the needs of Huntingdonshire’s growing population,” he said.

“The existing core original buildings of Hinchingbrooke are being operated way beyond their planned lifespan, and new builds are unavoidable to keep the hospital open. This decision is going to dramatically improve the health and lives of thousands of my constituents. This is very good news indeed.

MP – and former prime minister – Liz Truss agreed that facilities at the QEH were “not fit for purpose”. Her comments came after a fact finding visit to the hospital today. PHOTO: QEH


MP – and former prime minister – Liz Truss agreed that facilities at the QEH were “not fit for purpose”. Her comments came after a fact finding visit to the hospital. PHOTO: QEH

“I am thrilled that the Health Secretary, who as a Cambridgeshire MP himself knows the issues here very well, has listened to and taken onboard the concerns of local stakeholders, and I know that my constituents will welcome his decisive action to grasp the nettle and deliver for residents.

“Whilst there is a long way to go until the new hospital building is open and supporting patients, I know that both I and others involved – including neighbouring Cambridgeshire MPs and the North West Anglia NHS Trust – will work closely with the Government to help ensure it is delivered on time.”

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