Relief as hospital's oncology service secures post-2022 funding

Inside the North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer Hospital.

Inside the North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer Hospital. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The future of vital cancer services at Cromer Hospital are now to continue after being thrown in to doubt earlier this year.

Funding for the hospital's acute oncology and haematology service had been due to run out at the end of 2022. 

But now a spokesman for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the services would still be offered next year and beyond. 

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker raised concerns about the future of the hospital's oncology services earlier this year. 

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker raised concerns about the future of the hospital's oncology services earlier this year. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A spokesperson for the trust said: "We are really pleased with how well the expanded service has been received since it started at Cromer, which began from a mobile cancer care unit before moving to our state-of-the-art North Norfolk Macmillan Centre last year.”

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who raised concerns about the cancer service's funding in February after constituents raised the issue with him, said the continuation of the service was "great news".

Mr Baker said: "I wrote to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital expressing how important it was to safeguard and protect the existing services at Cromer Hospital and not remove any at all.

The North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer Hospital. Picture: Danielle Booden

Inside the North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer Hospital. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"Having met with the new head of the CCG to discuss many local health services last week, including my campaign to enhance Cromer Hospital, I am delighted to say that I’ve had it confirmed, 'there are no plans to stop or reduce the funding'.

"I’m grateful for constituents telling me. In my conversations with the CCG we are all united in wanting to make this jewel in north Norfolk’s crown even better."

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The centre was built at a cost of £4.85 million in response to predictions that demand for local cancer services could rise by more than 200pc over the next 10 years.

A scene from the official opening of North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital last year.

A scene from the official opening of North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital last year. - Credit: Macmillan

The hospital had been treating chemotherapy patients since 2014, but the new centre's six treatment chairs have allowed it to greatly expand its capacity from the one day a week which was previously offered there. 

The centre saw 377 patients for chemotherapy between September and November 2020 - a 114pc increase over the same time period in 2019, when 176 patients were treated.