North Walsham gets say on health issues
Local people are being offered a chance to have their say about the services in a new £8m health campus at North Walsham.Health chiefs are beginning to draw up a wish-list for a site next to the existing memorial hospital, but are keen to get views and ideas from the community too.
Local people are being offered a chance to have their say about the services in a new £8m health campus at North Walsham.
Health chiefs are beginning to draw up a wish-list for a site next to the existing memorial hospital, but are keen to get views and ideas from the community too.
Twenty four beds are planned at the heart of the package, seven more than in the aging existing building, but there will also be a range of other services possibly including therapies, diagnostics, outpatient clinics, midwifery and relocated family doctors.
Some will be in the former mental health unit Rebecca House next to the memorial hospital, others - including the beds - in linked new buildings.
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Hospital friends chairman Brian Elliott welcomed the establishment of a community involvement panel, saying: “The health authorities have been criticised in the past for not consulting and have learned their lesson.”
Interested organisations and parishes are being invited to have people on the panel, but it was also planned to have a public meeting to get a wider view, he added.
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There has been public opposition to axing the old hospital, but Mr Elliott felt people had moved on and realised the hospital was, like a church, less to do with bricks and mortar and more to do with what happened inside.
The new hospital would however inherit the memorial name and stone.
Original plans to relocate the town's two doctors surgeries to the new site were not certain but still under discussion, said Mr Elliott.
NHS Norfolk's assistant director of commissioning for out of hospital care, Wendy Hardicker, said community involvement was one of their commitments.
The panel would look at the range of services, design and layout of the building, and accessibility issues such as bus links.
It was a way of ensuring the end result reflected the needs of the population and that it would be a valued local service.
The aim was to have a business case ready for a decision by May and the campus complete within two years.