The new Cromer and District Hospital has opened its doors to patients for the first time.
Cromer and District Hospital is run by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Under the project, a new state-of-the-art hospital has replaced the original hospital on Mill Road, which opened in 1932.
After the new hospital was completed in early 2011, the existing Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) was relocated along with the imaging department and administration room. This was followed by the ophthalmology department, day procedure room and treatment bays. Last to move were the out-patient areas and audiology department between the 17th and 18th of March 2012.
The phased construction programme began in the autumn of 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2013. Further work to be completed includes the demolition of the old hospital buildings and the landscaping of the grounds.
Mansell Construction is the main contractor and the architect is Purcell Miller Tritton & Partners.
The £ 15 million development was made possible by two generous legacies. Sagle Bernstein left £11.4 million to Cromer and District Hospital, whilst Phyllis Cox left £1.3 million.
Although the design of the new hospital was restricted by the small site and the essential continuation of hospital services, Purcell Miller Tritton & Partners were able to design a dynamic two-storey solution. The new hospital features a range of materials that have been chosen for their proven lifespan on coastal sites, including zinc roofing and highly insulated render walling.
Set to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’, the hospital boasts a range of sustainable features such as photovoltaic cells and ground source heat pumps.
At 8am on Saturday 3rd March, the MIU reopened in the new building. In the days leading up to the move, a range of new medical equipment – including imaging equipment and a ceiling-mounted microscope for the ophthalmology theatre – was installed and commissioned.
Any items that could not be transferred to the new hospital were donated to Aid for Hospitals Worldwide.
Helen Lloyd, Operational Manager for Cromer Hospital, said:
“We planned the move to minimise disruption for both patients and staff. However, until the old buildings have been completely demolished and the grounds are landscaped this is still a construction site. We are working closely with the main contractor, Mansell, to help reduce the inevitable impact and to ensure that our patients are guided safely through the site.”
Access will be limited in the coming weeks. Motorists bringing patients with mobility problems have been advised to use a drop-off area near the entrance before parking at the football ground opposite the hospital. Wheelchairs will be available on the ground floor, whilst meet-and-greet volunteers will be on hand to guide patients to where they need to go.
One of the latest facilities available at Cromer and District Hospital is abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening. Approximately 8,000 men who turn 65 during 2012/13 are being invited to have the ultrasound examination at various centres in the Norfolk and Waveney Area.
Other new services will include a weekly eye casualty clinic and specialist orthopaedic procedures. In June the list of diagnostic procedures will be increased to include dexa (bone) scanning and a year-round mammography service that will replace the existing mobile mammography unit.