Hospital bosses have put forward their “strongest possible case” to the government for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to be rebuilt.
At an annual members meeting held on Tuesday, it was heard senior managers were “on track” to submit their formal expression of interest yesterday (Thursday).
Professor Steve Barnett, chair of the trust, said: “We have put together the strongest possible case in front of the right people. We have full support from our partners and stakeholders. We will wait for a response from the decision makers.”
It is hoped the King’s Lynn hospital, which has outlived its 30-year lifespan by more than 10 years, is a serious contender for one of the eight rebuilds by 2030.
Currently, the hospital has 210 roof props, but chief executive Caroline Shaw said at the meeting “heaps of work” had gone into making sure the building was safe and the focus still remained on safety.
Earlier this week, the government responded to an online petition, spearheaded by former Norfolk High Sheriff James Bagge, to rebuild the hospital. So far more than 12,000 people have signed but 100,000 signatures are needed to force a parliamentary debate.
The government response stated: “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“These commitments will result in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for both staff and patients that are the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving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 eight 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 eight 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 statement also said: “To help address the immediate issues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital estate, more than £20m has been provided this year and the trust has also received £750,000 to prioritise and tackle its most urgent maintenance backlog.”