Boost for healthcare jobs with new stroke unit

A total of 50 new NHS jobs for nurses, therapists and doctors are being advertised for a new £8 million stroke rehabilitation unit being built in Norwich as the project takes another big step forward this week.

Work began in August on the construction of an £8m dedicated stroke and general rehabilitation unit for patients in central Norfolk.

And as the modular-build unit takes shape at great pace at the Norwich Community Hospital, work has now begun on recruiting staff including 29 nursing staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, rehabilitation assistants, speech and language therapists, a housekeeper, doctors, admin staff, and a clinical psychologist.

When it opens in January, the unit will see hundreds of patients every year benefit from additional and improved services aimed at helping them recover from the effects of stroke, as well as offering care for other patients who are well enough to move on from an acute hospital bed, but perhaps not yet recovered enough to return home.

Amy McKimm, speech therapist and integrated stroke services manager for Norfolk Community Health & Care (NCHC), said: “These new jobs incorporate a wide range of health professionals who will play an exciting part in offering an excellent and seamless range of health services for patients who have had a stroke, and will really make a difference as to how quickly and effectively they recover.”

Patients primarily from the central Norfolk area – encompassing Norwich, South and North Norfolk areas – will be admitted to the stroke rehabilitation unit from January. Patients in the west of the county will continue to be referred to rehabilitation unit already established at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn.

The new stroke unit is part of NHS Norfolk’s investment into improvements in services for stroke patients, aimed at reducing the number of deaths and disabilities, and improving quality of life for patients and is part of the new Central Norfolk Stroke Pathway.

The Central Norfolk Stroke Pathway is being managed by, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) in partnership with NCH&C, who will manage the staffing of the stroke unit.

Dr Ian Mack, NHS Norfolk Clinical Lead on Stroke, said the advances in the construction of the unit – the biggest capital investment project ever undertaken by NHS Norfolk – and the recruitment of staff now getting underway were significant developments in improving outcomes for stroke patients.

“It is truly heartening to see each new landmark take place in the development of what will be excellent services, within improved, purpose-built facilities for patients.

“The real success of the services within these modern surroundings will rest in the hands of the committed team of people who will add their professionalism and dedication to making services even better for people who have had a stroke.”

The new, 24 general rehabilitation beds will replace a similar number of beds currently in use on an elderly medicine ward at the Julian Hospital site, Bowthorpe Road, which is owned by the Norfolk & Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

It is hoped these will help ease winter pressures on acute beds, reducing delayed discharges for patients who are well enough to move on from an acute hospital bed, but perhaps not yet recovered enough to return home.

Building of the new unit continues, with the last delivery of individual modular units on Monday, September 14. Once these are secured in place, work can begin on cladding the building and outfitting it’s interior for it to be completed by December, with plans for it to receive its first admission of patients in the New Year.

Recruitment for some of the new staff posts are already advertised can be found on and others will be coming up over the next few weeks.

Friday 11th of September 2009 11:00:07 AM