New orthopaedic service at Cromer Hospital
A new service for hand and foot surgery has been set up at Cromer & District Hospital, as part of a plan to boost treatments for patients as services get back on track following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Patients are receiving day case treatment in the Muriel Thoms Day Procedure Unit, using injections of local anaesthetic, called a nerve block, to numb the area which avoids the need for a general anaesthetic. About eight patients are treated each week for conditions such as Dupuytren’s disease, arthritis of the thumb (trapeziectomy) and various foot conditions related to the bone and soft tissue.
Matt Keeling, Deputy Divisional Operations Director for Surgery, said: “There has been a fantastic team effort to launch this new orthopaedic surgery service at Cromer. It is proving popular with our patients who receive the best of both worlds: a friendly local service at Cromer, plus expert care from surgeons and anaesthetists visiting from our main site in Norwich.
“We are delivering more treatment sessions for patients at Cromer now than we were before the pandemic. This has meant adjusting the way in which we organise the building, making best use of the space to ensure social distancing and new procedures.”
Before surgery patients must self-isolate for two weeks and test negative for Covid-19 before they are treated to reduce the risk of complications and illness. The surgery is delivered by a dedicated team which only works in non-Covid areas to further reduce the risk to patients. Extra hygiene measures have been introduced along with social distancing measures.
Changes have also been made at Cromer to phlebotomy (blood taking) services with an appointment system to avoid queues and minimise contact between patients.
A further expansion of Cromer & District Hospital began in June with construction work underway to create the North Norfolk Macmillan Centre.