First patients for new Cromer and District Hospital
The new Cromer and District Hospital opens its doors to patients for the first time next month (March) but work on site will continue as the old hospital buildings are demolished and the grounds are paved and landscaped.
The move is planned to take place over three weekends beginning 3 /4 March. First to move will be the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU), imaging department and administrative offices, followed by the ophthalmology department, day procedure room and treatment bays on 10 /11 March. Last to move will be the out-patient areas and audiology department on 17 /18 March.
We are working closely with the main contractors, Mansell, to keep any disruption to a minimum.
The old MIU will remain open for patients right up to 8pm on Friday 2 March and will reopen in the new building at 8am on Saturday 3rd March, with no change to the usual working hours. However, visitors are being asked to be patient during the move and to think twice about using the MIU service if their needs can be met elsewhere.
Helen Lloyd, Operational Manager for Cromer Hospital, explained: We have planned the move to minimise disruption for both patients and staff. However, until the old buildings have been completely demolished and the grounds are landscaped this is still a construction site. We are working closely with the main contractor, Mansell, to help reduce the inevitable impact and to ensure that our patients are guided safely through the site.
In the days leading up to the move, work is going on to install and commission a range of new medical equipment, including imaging equipment and a ceiling mounted microscope for the ophthalmology theatre. Any items that cannot be transferred to the new hospital or to NNUH are being donated to Aid for Hospitals Worldwide.
Access will be extremely limited in the coming weeks and motorists bringing patients with mobility problems are advised to use a drop-off area near the entrance before parking at the football ground opposite the hospital. Wheelchairs will be available on the ground floor and meet-and-greet volunteers will be on hand to guide patients to where they need to go.
Services at Cromer have already been revised to reflect the capacity and facilities available in the new building, with some new out-patient clinics, diagnostics and local anaesthetic procedures being introduced (see below). However, all endoscopy and any surgery requiring a general anaesthetic is now being carried out at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
New services for Cromer
One of the latest innovations at Cromer is abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening, which is being rolled out nationally. Around 8,000 men who turn 65 during 2012/13 are being invited to have the ultrasound examination at various centres in the Norfolk and Waveney area.
Other new services will include a weekly eye casualty clinic, while some hand surgery and therapy will be added to the list of specialist orthopaedic procedures available at Cromer.
In June the list of diagnostic procedures will be increased to include dexa (bone) scanning and a year-round mammography service will replace the existing mobile mammography unit.
Notes for editors
The new £15 million development was made possible by two generous legacies – Sagle Bernstein left £11.4 million to Cromer and District Hospital and Phyllis Cox left £1.3 million
The procedure room on the first floor will be known as the Muriel Thoms Procedure Unit (amalgamating the Davison Day Unit and Main Theatre), after Mrs Bernsteins sister, who was a patient at Cromer
The audiology unit is being named after Phyllis Cox
The ophthalmology unit will continue to be known as the Allies Eye Unit.