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Extra wards approved for Norwich hospital

PUBLISHED: 07:58 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 06 July 2010

Two new wards at a city hospital got the go-ahead yesterday.

An extra 48 beds at Norwich Community Hospital in Bowthorpe will provide better care for stroke patients as well as new rehabilitation beds.

Two new wards at a city hospital got the go-ahead yesterday.

An extra 48 beds at Norwich Community Hospital in Bowthorpe will provide better care for stroke patients as well as new rehabilitation beds. The flatpack-style unit is expected to be up and running in December - later than the previously planned date of October. Downstairs will be 24 stroke rehabilitation beds in a new dedicated ward, and upstairs will be 24 general rehabilitation beds, which will replace Henderson Ward at the Julian Hospital.

The stroke unit is part of improvements to stroke care in Norfolk. Patients are getting clot-busting drugs in the immediate aftermath of a stroke, and the new ward will provide dedicated rehabilitation.

It was given planning permission by Norwich City Council yesterday, although because consultations have not finished, the approval is subject to no substantial new evidence being uncovered.

But there were complaints from neighbours about noise and disturbance from demolition work on the site. Planning officer Malcolm Dixon said that a neighbour from Merton Road had written to complain, and city councillor Claire Stephenson, who also lives nearby, backed the concerns. She said: “The building and demolition going on at the moment is in fact affecting my wellbeing. It is being handled in an insensitive way at the moment. Work is starting very early in the morning and disturbing sleep and work.”

She said that she did not object to the application itself, which she said was “an important health facility”.

Councillors approved the application and asked officers to agree a construction method statement which will limit the hours of demolition and building work.

Most of the site, which used to be known as West Norwich Hospital, is derelict. A large part of it has been earmarked for housing, including part of the site of the planned building. Councillors decided to allow the plans because housing will be provided elsewhere on the site instead.

The scheme is being put forward by NHS Norfolk. Tara Studholme-Lyons, assistant director for unplanned care, said: “NHS Norfolk is delighted that the plans for the new unit at Norwich Community Hospital have now been approved. This is great news for patients as it will provide access to 24 beds dedicated for stroke rehabilitation and 24 beds for general rehabilitation.

“I understand that there have been some concerns raised regarding noise created by clearing the site, but I would like to reassure people that most of the clearing work will have been completed by next week.

“The new unit is expected to be completed around December this year and will complement existing stroke services based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.”

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