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Fears over new £15m hospital

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:59 13 July 2010

An artist's impression of the new Cromer Hospital.

An artist's impression of the new Cromer Hospital.

Ed Foss

Key services will be cut from the new £15m Cromer Hospital when it is built, prompting further frustration from campaigners already angry at news earlier in the year that the hospital will be subject to a pruned budget of £15m, down from £25m.

Ed Foss

Key services will be cut from the new £15m Cromer Hospital when it is built, prompting further frustration from campaigners already angry at news earlier in the year that the hospital will be subject to a pruned budget of £15m, down from £25m.

The board of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust met on Friday to select a "preferred option" for the new hospital.

Afterwards the board promised the new hospital would offer "excellent modern healthcare" to the people of north Norfolk.

But they admitted some services currently based at Cromer would move to Norwich, including endoscopy and some surgical procedures.

They said the preferred option involved a new two-storey main hospital alongside the conversion of the current hospital's ward block to provide permanent accommodation for the renal dialysis unit currently located on the hospital site. The conversion of the ward block would also provide room for future expansion of renal dialysis.

New services to be provided at Cromer would include mammography scanning for breast cancer screening and scanning for osteoporosis.

The new hospital's ophthalmology service would have an eye operating theatre and the minor injuries unit would have improved facilities. A surgical procedure room and recovery space would be provided in the new out-patient clinic area and enable minor surgery to be done at Cromer.

Chief executive Anna Dugdale said: "We are determined that the hospital will be rebuilt and we have developed an alternative scheme which will provide a good range of services to meet the needs of local people.

"We will be involving our members, patients and public in these plans over the coming weeks."

But hospital friends chairman Mary Northway said the removal of services was "unfair and unsatisfactory".

"They are grabbing away very well used services and that isn't right," said Mrs Northway.

"I know the services provided will be run very well, but it is what we are going to lose which concerns me."

Mrs Northway said she wanted to see more detail before making a full judgment.

She was concerned about the mammography service being described as "new" because it was already available at Cromer.

The public will have an opportunity to ask questions of N&N board chairman David Prior and his colleagues when he visits Cromer community centre in Garden Street on October 15 at 7pm.

Construction on the new hospital is expected to start next year and be completed in 2012.


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