Photo gallery: Cromer Hospital staff praise ‘family atmosphere’ at Open Day

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 October 2012

Nine-year-old Jack Coles from Aylsham gets a lesson on x-rays from radiology head Janet Skeates and her skeleton friend.

Nine-year-old Jack Coles from Aylsham gets a lesson on x-rays from radiology head Janet Skeates and her skeleton friend.


North Norfolk residents had a chance to test their grip strength, dress up in hospital scrubs and identify x-ray images ranging from a replacement hip joint to the tiny brain of cartoon dad Homer Simpson at an open day held at Cromer Hospital yesterday.

The event, which was organised by a team of staff and volunteers led by operational manager Helen Lloyd, aimed to allow local people to meet staff and see the inside of the long-awaited £15million new building, which opened in March.

“We are very proud of the new hospital, but we were aware that the only way people get to see it is if they have to attend,” Mrs Lloyd said. “So we wanted to show it off and give everybody the opportunity to come along, and not just when they might be anxious or worried.”

Visitors to Saturday’s open day could opt for a guided tour, or just wander from department to department and take part in quizzes and demonstrations.

These included a life-size version of the board game operation and a “glo and tell” hand-washing challenge in the day procedure unit, as well as a “guess the mole” competition in dermatology.

Youngsters were invited to bring along their favourite soft toy to be treated in a “well teddy clinic”, while older visitors could have health checks and see machinery from a cytoscope and blood transfusion equipment to a new, £37,000 mobile scanning unit.

Healthcare organisations ranging from the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, to the United Norwich Kidney Patients Association ran stalls, with visitors also given a chance to take “back of house” tour, enjoy refreshments in the hospital cafe, or sign up as a volunteer.

Rosemary Lews, from Holt, is booked in as a patient next week.

She said: “It is really nice to be able to come and see the hospital and to find out where you will be going.

“I think it is absolutely wonderful, it doesn’t smell like a hospital, it is nice and airy and the staff are very friendly.”

Hospital matron Anita Martins said the open day had been a great success, giving people a chance to have a look behind the scenes and see that the hospital had retained its “community feel.”

“The atmosphere here is wonderful,” she added. “And I think that, although we now have a purpose-built hospital, the face that it is still quite a small environment and the staff all know each other, makes us like a big family.”

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