Search

Dereham 'should be stroke unit base'

PUBLISHED: 13:58 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 July 2010

Dereham Hospital should have been picked as a base for a long-awaited specialist stroke unit for Norfolk, a patient representative and county councillor have claimed.

Dereham Hospital should have been picked as a base for a long-awaited specialist stroke unit for Norfolk, a patient representative and county councillor have claimed.

The Times understands that the 24-bed specialist stroke rehabilitation unit, which was originally to be built in Dereham and was then moved to Norwich, and will now be at Norwich Community Hospital - the former West Norwich Hospital.

Although it is supposed to be ready by the end of October, bosses at NHS Norfolk are still insistent that the site is “under discussion.”

Health bosses have been accused of unnecessary secrecy over the issue - and during a discussion about stroke services there were claims that a mistake had been made by not having the unit in Dereham.

Patient representative Patrick Thompson said: “It won't be joined up. It will be a fragmented service across different sites. I am not happy with not being able to have a seamless system from admission to the rehab unit on one site. It would have been more beneficial if they could have had it at the N&N, or at Dereham Hospital as was originally planned.”

County councillor Tony Wright said: “It would have been much better to have it at Dereham Hospital.”

NHS Norfolk has repeatedly said that patients would benefit from the closeness of the rehab beds and the acute stroke services at the N&N, and that the N&N would be running the service.

The service will still be run by staff from the N&N, but in a modular building, similar to a portable building, which will be assembled on site. A further 24 non-stroke beds are also being created in the new building to replace the current Henderson ward, which is due to be returned to mental health services. There will be a parallel stroke service for West Norfolk based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where the beds are already in place. In the mean time Henderson ward and Dereham Hospital are being used temporarily for rehab beds.

Ann Donkin, director of strategic development at NHS Norfolk, said: “The site will be in close proximity to the N&N, so that specialist staff will be able to work across the acute and stroke rehabilitation elements of stroke care.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Dereham Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists