NNUH embarks on biggest construction programme in 20 years
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is embarking on its biggest construction programme since it was built 20 years ago to meet rising demand.
Ambitious plans have been announced, which will increase capacity and improve services for patients, with approximately 100 new beds.
When the hospital first opened, the Trust treated 60,000 patients a year in the Emergency Department. Last year, more than 140,000 patients attended ED and emergency ambulance arrivals have increased by 50% in seven years.
With cancer referrals going up 10% every year and emergency admissions up almost 20% since 2011, the Trust has announced proposals to build a new three-storey ward block.
The first phase of the development, subject to planning approval, is expected to open to patients early next year and will be located between the two Acute Medical Unit (AMU) wards at NNUH.
The £14m investment will house an AMU extension and relocated Acute Stroke Unit.
The first two floors of the new ward block are scheduled to be open to its first patients in January 2020 and the third floor will be made ready for future use.
The new wards will increase capacity at NNUH by 70 beds and an extra 30 inpatient beds will be created when the Jack Pryor Unit moves its renal dialysis services offsite.
Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted we have embarked on the biggest construction programme that has been seen at NNUH in 20 years in order to meet growing demand.
I have been clear for some time that we are short of capacity and I am thrilled that we are investing to build new wards on the site, which are desperately needed.
We are determined to do the right things for our patients and invest in the long-term future of healthcare locally.
We know how important NNUH is to the million people we serve and we want to continue to provide the best facilities and the best staff money can buy.
The new developments taking place at the hospital at the moment are going to make a significant difference for our patients and our staff for many years to come.”
Chris Cobb, NNUH Chief Operating Officer, said: “This is very exciting news and will go some way towards increasing flow and enabling us to provide better care for our patients. The new wards will also enable us to strengthen our team by recruiting 110 more nurses, doctors and other professional staff.”
The plans for new wards are in addition to other building projects at NNUH including the development of a new Interventional Radiology Unit (IRU) on top of the East wing of the hospital and the creation of a new PET CT scanner building on the site. Both of these will directly benefit cancer treatments.
The new IRU will quadruple the number of interventional suites and will help NNUH to become a beacon nationally and a training centre for interventional radiology.
It will also help to unlock new services in the future such as stroke thrombectomy where blood clots are directly removed from the brain following a stroke and will double the number of cardiology procedure rooms at the hospital.
This will enable the cardiology department at NNUH to develop new services such as the rapid treatment of patients presenting with less severe forms of heart attack as well as expand the development of the treatment of coronary arteries that have been blocked for a long time. The additional capacity will also allow further developments in the treatment of patients with heart rhythm disorders either requiring pacemakers or other forms of electrical procedures within the heart.