Norfolk's two crumbling hospitals may be forced to close before their replacements are complete, an influential committee has warned.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston are both due to be replaced by 2030.

However, the Public Accounts Committee has given a stark warning about the urgency of these projects.

And it warns that if the work is not sped up there is a "serious risk" that the new hospitals will not be ready before it is unsafe to continue treating patients in the buildings.

The danger relates to the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) used to build the hospitals, which has crumbled over time and has resulted in both sites needing to install 'failsafe' measures.

The committee's report into the new hospital programme - which includes the Norfolk sites as well as others around the country - reads: "Rebuilding the seven RAAC hospitals by 2030 will be extremely challenging, yet there is a serious risk if these projects are not accelerated and prioritised, that some hospitals may have to close before replacements are ready."

The highly critical report adds that it has "no confidence" the government will deliver the new hospitals as promised.

Dame Meg Hillier, the committee's chairman, said: "The physical edifice that is the NHS is quite literally crumbling before our eyes.

"There was nothing inevitable about this heartbreaking crisis.

"We are now seeing the consequences of this short-termism visited on patients and services.

"It is bitterly disappointing to report on the current state of the new hospitals programme"

Lowestoft Journal: Alice Webster, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's LynnAlice Webster, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn

It comes as Alice Webster, chief executive of the QEH, dismissed fears over the project, stating the hospital was continuing to work closely with the programme team.

The James Paget was one of the first hospitals to be announced as part of the replacement scheme - while the Queen Elizabeth was added earlier this year following a tireless campaign.