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We are keen to involve as many patients, partners, members of our local communities, staff and stakeholders as possible as we progress our exciting proposals to deliver a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital for people across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Lincolnshire.

Here, you can view the latest and previous editions of our newsletter, materials from our exhibitions and presentations, the latest documentation on our proposals, our frequently asked questions. You can also contact us here.

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View previous editions here

February 2024

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December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

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April 2023

March 2023

February 2023

January 2023

Resources

We will publish the latest documentation for our proposals here.

View the presentation

The presentation provides an overview of our proposal for a new hospital and a new multi-storey car park which is a key enabling scheme

Look at our exhibition boards

The exhibition boards detail our plans for a new hospital and the vital role that a new multi-storey car park plays

Read the Statement of Community Involvement

Find out how we engaged on proposals for a new car park and how we responded to the feedback we heard.

Read our frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

We have developed these FAQs as a helpful guide to some of the key conversations around our new hospital.

More information and FAQs around our new multi-storey car park proposal are available here

Are we getting a new hospital and when will it be open?

Yes we are. In May 2023 the Government confirmed the QEH had been added to the New Hospital Programme. It is planned the New QEH will open in 2030.

As we are using public monies to build the new hospital we need to go through an approval process. Our New QEH team are busy progressing this work to keep the project on track for this opening date. Designs for the new hospital will be informed by national Hospital 2.0 guidance which is expected to be release in mid-2024.

Why do we need a new hospital?

As a hospital made from RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete), QEH was only designed to last until 2010. RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete used to manufacture pre-cast planks which have been used to build the hospital.

These planks are now more than 40 years old and have reached the end of their life.

We have a rolling programme to install steel and timber support props and ‘failsafes’ across the first floor of the hospital to maximise safety for our patients, visitors, and staff.

The Trust Board at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is very clear that a new hospital is the only long-term sustainable solution to the challenges we face.

We want to become a centre of excellence for frailty and stroke, day surgery and regional anaesthesia, research and innovation, and same day emergency care – which is consistent with our Clinical Strategy – and provide outstanding care in world-class facilities that meets the needs of our growing and ageing population.

We also want to become the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience and a new hospital is central to achieving this ambition.

What is is Hospital 2.0?

Hospital 2.0 is the government’s national approach to delivering new hospitals so they can be built more quickly and at a reduced cost, providing value for taxpayers. Patients and staff will benefit from a modern hospital design making use of the latest technology, digital innovation and sustainability to improve overall patient experience and provide a better working environment for staff. The design will help us achieve the Government target is reaching net zero emissions by 2040 and also put the NHS on a sustainable footing for the future. We will be exploring all avenues to make our building as environmentally sustainable as possible to reach the national net zero emissions NHS target by 2040. We already have a wind turbine on site, but we will be working with specialists in this field to research methods of energy generation to make our site carbon neutral and as environmentally friendly as it can be.

Will the new building be fit for purpose? Will it be built to last?

Absolutely. We have an opportunity here to build a hospital that will last into the future. We aren’t at the stage yet where we can say how the new build will be constructed. Once our Full Business Case has been approved, we will go through the process where we engage the Government’s New Hospital Programme on Hospital 2.0 and explore the most up to date technology to produce a building that will stand the test of time. This method will ensure we will be using the most up to date construction technology when the time comes to start building.

Will there be enough beds and space to allow for a growing population?

We recognise our populations will grow and age significantly by the time a new hospital is operational. We are currently analysing our 2022 data to give us the most up to date information. This includes using the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) and National Audit Office data and population models to formulate a Full Business Case setting out the size and scale of a new hospital. Looking at how the population will grow, with large scale housing developments planned in the area, as well as factoring in health trends and new models of care.

All this will help determine need as we then look to work with the national New Hospital Programme team.

 

Will the hospital be all single rooms or wards?

The information we have at present regarding Hospital 2.0 shows single rooms with communal social areas for patients, so people don’t feel isolated. Single occupancy rooms are beneficial for infection control and many of our colleagues in other Trusts tell us it makes consultation with patients easier on a one-to-one basis. We will continue to explore all the options as we move forward through our planning stages to ensure we have the right mix for our patients and staff.

Will the building be environmentally sustainable?

As part of our Full Business Case we will be exploring all avenues to make our building as environmentally sustainable, and ‘green’ as possible to reach the national net zero emissions NHS target by 2040. We already have our wind turbine on site, but we will be working with specialists in this field to research methods of energy generation to make our site carbon neutral and as environmentally friendly as it can be. Practices such as rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps to name a very few will be explored.

What will happen if there’s a change in Government before the new hospital is built?

A change in Government can always bring uncertainty. We have been assured by the Department of Health and Social Care that the funding for a new QEH has been allocated and we will continue to work towards that deadline of 2030.

 

Is there support from the local community for a new hospital?

Yes. We are extremely fortunate and grateful that we continue to receive a huge amount of fantastic support from our local community for a new QEH. The support is unanimous and unwavering across the communities we serve in West Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire and made a real difference to help us secure the funding we need to bring a new hospital to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

Where will a particular service be on the hospital site?

As we developed our Strategic Outline Case, we gave some initial thought to this based on the high-level assumptions we have made as to where main areas – including Urgent and Emergency Care (A&E), Theatres, Critical Care, Maternity and main ward areas, and Facilities will be and the size each of these areas needs to be.

Further detail (such as the location of specific services) will be worked through for the Outline Business Case and Full Business Case stages. This work will be in line with QEH Corporate and Clinical strategies and the equivalent strategies for the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system.

How much will the new hospital cost?

Our preferred scheme is a single-phase new build on our existing hospital site which will cost £862m (based on costs in 2022).

Will you continue to maintain the current building?

Absolutely. We will continue to maintain our current site until the day we close the doors and move to our new hospital. The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is paramount and we have a robust installation programme to maintain the safety of the roof as well as a team of skilled engineering teams and surveyors who carry out daily structural checks across our estate. All of this will continue until all our services are relocated to our new building.

What were the shortlist of possible options identified for a potential new hospital?

A shortlist of possible options identified were:

  • a single-phase new build hospital on the existing QEH site, expected to be operational in 2029
  • a multi-phase development (part new-build, part refurbishment), expected to be operational in 2033 (at the earliest)
  • considering whether a new hospital would be built on the existing hospital site or elsewhere.

Workshops were held in September and November 2021 to review the options and a range of internal and external stakeholders, including Heads of Service and Divisional Leadership Teams, Governors, Non-Executive Directors and Healthwatch Norfolk were involved in these important discussions.

All options were assessed using clear success criteria which were informed by local and national measures.

Why is your preferred option a single-phase full new build on the existing hospital site?

The reasons for why our Strategic Outline Case sets out our preferred new hospital scheme for a single-phase new build on the existing hospital site are as follows:

Only solution to meet 2030 end of life deadline
A single-phase new build on the existing site is the only solution that meets the critical deadline of our current hospital reaching end of life by 2030. This is because our hospital is a RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) hospital, which was built in 1980 and designed to last 30 years. RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete used to manufacture pre-cast planks which have been used to build the hospital. These planks are now more than 40 years old and have reached end of life.

Most cost-effective solution
It will cost £862m (based on costs in 2022) to build a new hospital on the current site. It is estimated that to build offsite would cost over £1bn and therefore is deemed unaffordable by our regulator and NHS England.

Least disruption
Building on an offsite location would likely bring disruption to patients, visitors and staff for at least ten years. It would include factors outside of our control (including roads and other infrastructure) and would require a formal public consultation. This would also mean a much longer time period before a new hospital was up and running which does meet our 2030 critical end of life deadline.

Maximising recent and planned investments
Building a new hospital on the existing site means that all of the recent investments and improvements we have made to the site including the new Endoscopy Unit, Outpatient Unit, Eye Centre and other planned developments (for example, the Elective Hub and Diagnostic and Assessment Centre) will all remain as they fit in with our long-term Estates Strategy and ‘masterplan’ for QEH. We are committed to improving the facilities and experience we offer our patients now as well as addressing the critical issues around RAAC that present day-to-day challenges for the running of our hospital.

Supporting our investment case
At a national level, the Government’s commitment to eradicating RAAC was a key driver to awarding the necessary investment. The onsite option was our best chance to secure the funding we need to build a new hospital.

At the Trust Board Meeting on 7 December 2021, the Board approved the preferred option of a single-phase full new build on the existing hospital site based on the technical detail and information presented to them following the completion of a detailed assessment of a shortlist of possible options.

This is consistent with our preferred Expression of Interest (EOI) which we submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care in September 2021 alongside an alternative EOI for a multi-phase development (part new-build and part refurbishment) in a bid to become one of the further new hospital schemes.

Did you consider offsite options for a new hospital?

As part of the development of our Strategic Outline Case (SOC), a number of potential site options were explored including five offsite options for a new hospital and two onsite options. We worked very closely with the Borough Council and other key stakeholders on this work over the last couple of years and have engaged with a number of landowners as part of a comprehensive appraisal process.

How can I keep updated on progress around the new hospital?

We will post regular updates through our social media channels and on our website and we will work with the local media to make sure they have access to the latest information and are able to cover the details in full.

If you would like to sign up to our monthly newsletter about how we are modernising our hospital, including our proposals for a new car park, and the progress being made on our new hospital, please email contact us and we will add you to our list.