BMI Sandringham Hospital at King’s Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt.

Plans to improve King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital could see it purchase the private Sandringham Hospital.

QEH chief executive Caroline Shaw has confirmed one of the future developments being explored is the prospect of buying the BMI hospital  set in the grounds of the Gayton Road site.

She said: “We are in active discussions with the BMI about the prospect of purchasing the Sandringham Hospital which is based on-site at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  

“We consider that this presents a fantastic opportunity for the Trust to further improve the quality of care for our patients in a high quality and modern estate, consistent with the priorities described in our recently-published Corporate Strategy. 

“This includes the exciting option of developing a new elective treatment centre and the further development of a private facility for our patients. 

“We will keep our patients, local community and staff updated as the process moves forward.”

In her regular update to staff Mrs Shaw said this week: “We have now entered a new decade and a new era for our Trust.”

QEH chairman Steve Barnett and chief executive Caroline Shaw joined celebrations for the hospital’s 40th birthday last Wednesday. Picture: Ian Burt

She referred to press interviews last week in relation to the hospital’s 40th anniversary in which both Mrs Shaw and Trust chairman Professor Steve Barnett spoke of their hopes to be included in government funding to build a new hospital.

In her staff update, Mrs Shaw said: “It would be the greatest 40th gift our Trust could receive if we were named in the next tranche of hospitals to receive funding for this and, if we are successful in the purchase of the Sandringham transaction, we will have a new dedicated planned treatment facility that really will further improve care for our patients.”

In last week’s interview, Professor Barnett said he was “hopeful” ambitions for a new hospital would become a reality and that everything was being done to put forward a best case for funding.

Mrs Shaw told journalists the board was really “pushing for a new build” and also for improvements on the technology and digital front. She said West Norfolk deserved a new hospital.

Meanwhile, Mrs Shaw told staff in her update that a visit from the Care Quality Commission is expected in the autumn.

Hospital chiefs have previously said they hope the QEH will be out of special measures by the end of the year.