People gathered at The Walks on Saturday July 3 to highlight the “urgent” need for a new hospital for West Norfolk.
The QEH roof is currently held up by nearly 200 props, but it was not included in a list of hospital reconstructions announced by the government in October.
Its risk register warns that there is “a direct risk to life and to patients, visitors and staff” and the hospital is hoping it will be one of eight new constructions chosen from a shortlist. from 16 later this year.
Mr Corbyn was among those who spoke at Saturday’s rally after being contacted by Jo Rust, secretary of the King’s Lynn Trades Council, about the situation.
He said, “This is not the only hospital that has this building and construction problem.
“They have to deal with it urgently, either by replacing the roof if it can be done, or by rebuilding the whole hospital, which seems the most likely option.
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“But it’s about ensuring the safety of all patients. If you or I lived in a house where the roof might fall off, unless we have scaffolding to support it, I think we would do something and probably move.
“The same applies to NHS patients, they need to be cared for and they need to be safe.
“There have been times when the intensive care unit has been closed in order to move patients because of safety concerns.
“It’s urgent, we have to do it. “
In March, we launched a campaign to see QEH rebuilt and a petition that was signed by over 7,500 people.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs previously said the government “fully recognizes” the need to invest in health infrastructure.
Addressing those gathered in The Walks, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Frankly I’m just amazed you have 200 props supporting the roof of the hospital which has so far been inspected, the rest are going to be inspected if I understand it correctly and therefore there is going to be a growth of props.
“It’s the 21st century, it’s absurd. “
General practitioner Dr Pallavi Devulapalli spoke of the recent demand from hospitals in the area, saying there was a high percentage of bed occupancy at the sites in the last quarter.
She added: “Without QEH, the people of West Norfolk literally have nowhere to go if they need a bed.
“With that in mind, it seems shocking that we have to stand up here and ask for a new hospital to be built.
“This hospital is collapsing before our eyes. “
Gordon Taylor, of Unison, said he fully supports the QEH campaign and called the current situation “unacceptable”, noting how staff and patients view “scaffolding, posts and wooden beams” in daily services.
He added: “No promises have been made for a new hospital. King’s Lynn QEH needs to be rebuilt and this community needs a new hospital.
“If we get funding, the work won’t be completed until 2025, so we have four years before we eventually start building a new hospital.
“This city and this community needs a new hospital, not in 2025, not in two years or next year. Something must be done now. “
Ms Rust said: “Patients should go to bed, looking at the props and the wood above them.
“Imagine having to go to work every day walking through hallways supported by props and wood.
“Our NHS staff have worked hard during this pandemic and yet they will be working in dangerous conditions on a daily basis. “
QEH has received £ 20million in government funding to help address structural issues and council documents have revealed additional wards and operating rooms will be created using this money.
Here’s what supporters of the rally had to say:
Fabia Pollard, President of Unison West Norfolk, said: “A lot of my family and friends work in the hospital and I know the conditions they work under, no one should have to work like this. “
Adele Smith, whose daughter works at QEH, said: “Right now we want to raise awareness of the situation.
“The hospital is blocked by 200 accessories and its repair will take a long time. “
She said more people need to hear about the campaign and support it.
GMB Union member Ashley Foster, 34, said: “It’s appalling, if it was Parliament it would have been rebuilt by now.
“He’s in such bad shape. “
Philip Wagstaff, 70, said: “This is the only hospital in the area. It’s a complete mess. Norfolk is a nightmarish county to get from one place to another.
“It only takes one accident and Norfolk comes to a complete halt. It is absolutely essential that we have a functioning hospital.
“The hospital has been collapsing before our eyes for a long time and that it is not on the list is mind-boggling. “