4:57 PM March 18, 2022
Potential designs for a new-build James Paget University Hospital have been unveiled.
The Gorleston hospital was built with an expected working life of 30 years, but is still in use four decades later.
Like the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn, the JPUH was built using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) planks, which are said to be much weaker than traditional concrete and can deteriorate over time.
Harm to patients caused by falling RAAC panels has been identified as an “extreme risk” at the current hospital, which was opened in 1982.
In 2020, the JPUH was selected to be one of 40 new hospitals built across England by 2030.
The QEH is meanwhile still waiting to hear whether it will be selected as one of eight further schemes.
At a Wednesday meeting of the JPUH’s council of governors, 3D drawings of the potential layouts for the new hospital were presented.
The three options presented included a large, single building, a more spread out “campus”-style design, and a blend of the two, with a covered ‘street’ running between the two largest buildings.
One variation on the last of those designs depicted the tops of the wards covered in greenery.
One of the biggest expected improvements, intended to be included in whichever design is chosen, will be every each patient having a room to themselves and an ensuite toilet.
Currently, patients inhabit five or six-bed wards and hospital officials said the move to single rooms “will improve patient privacy and dignity”.
In a statement on Friday, Anna Hills, JPUH chief executive, said: “We have listened to our patients, our staff and our partners in working up these design options.
“Aside from continuing to provide quality health care, we have heard unanimously that our new hospital needs to be accessible, easy to navigate, and add to the green spaces and amenities we already have in our community.”
The JPUH plans to submit to the Department of Health and Social Care a strategic outline case for the new hospital plans in April.
A survey where anyone can give their views on what’s important to them about the new hospital, and to comment on the design options, can be accessed at https://forms.office.com/r/hVTJcErZYS