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Cromer Hospital is a regional pioneer with new services

Three week old Milly Seppings with Mum Laura Seppings.

Three week old Milly Seppings with Mum Laura Seppings.

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Norfolk’s new £14.9m hospital is making Norfolk a health pioneer by introducing a clutch of innovative services and treatments.

Cromer Hospital, which opened in April, has introduced a one-stop cataract clinic - the first in the region - where people are diagnosed in the morning and treated in the afternoon of the same day.

Skin cancer is also being treated in double-quick time, with patients being diagnosed and having minor surgery in the space of a few hours - another first.

Meanwhile, an expanded audiology suite is enabling medics to increase the number of babies and children having hearing tests.

And gynaecology patients are benefiting from a less invasive surgery technique, using equipment small enough to pass through the cervix - helping with operations including sterilisation.

The cataract service, which is not available at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, will enable more than 400 patients to be treated at Cromer each year.

Sue Peacock, senior sister in the Allies Eye Unit, said: “The patients are very happy with this arrangement because it saves them having to make a return journey to the hospital for treatment.

“They are warned in advance that they may have the option of same-day surgery and most are happy to go ahead as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.”

The new sterilisation method can be used to take samples from the womb lining and remove polyps. Its adaptation for sterilisation involves blocking the fallopian tubes with tiny metal implants.

Consultant gynaecologist Eddie Morris said: “As far as I know Cromer will be the first hospital in the region to use this new method. Previously the operation would involve laparoscopic surgery to tie or clamp the fallopian tubes under a general anaesthetic.”

The dermatology clinics, led by specialist nurse consultant Carrie Wingfield, are for people referred by their GPs with suspected skin cancer.

Nearly all procedures are performed under a local anaesthetic so patients are able to return home immediately after.

Cromer also offers a fast-track skin cancer service where patients believed to have more aggressive skin cancers can be seen within two weeks of seeing their GP.

The hospital, on Mill Road, was funded largely from an £11.4m legacy in 2000 from Cromer widow Sagle Bernstein.

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