Cromer healthcare unit proposals under scrutiny at County Hall
Cromer town councillors will head to County Hall in Norwich today to quiz county colleagues about the proposals and consultation process regarding Benjamin Court in the town.
Norfolk County Council’s Health Overview & Scrutiny committee is meeting at 10am to scrutinise the plans.
It comes after health chiefs held a public consultation at the community centre in Cromer last week about the possible shake-up to services at the healthcare unit.
North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans to move away from hospital-based services to provide more care in the community.
It has proposed creating a new health and community support hub comprising different types of beds and non-bed based NHS and voluntary sector services. This would see the number of patient beds at the healthcare unit reduced from 18 to 16, which has raised concerns in the community.
The proposals were developed by a steering group made up of local patients, doctors and managers.
Cromer Town councillor David Russell intends to raise several issues at today’s meeting on behalf of the authority.
He said: “They include concerns over the non-provision of any respite beds at Benjamin Court.
“The town council is not opposed to the principle of a community hub. However, due to site parking facilities and exacerbated low footfall, it would be better situated in central Cromer.
“We also would like clarification of the integrated health care of Benjamin Court and Cromer hospital, and details about the funding of the proposals.”
The public consultation on the plans ends on Monday, September 11, but the town council will be working on the subject beyond that date as a local authority.
Cromer town councillors visited Benjamin Court to hold informal discussions with the ward manager and matron. A spokesman said that, at the time of the visit, all 18 intermediate beds were occupied.
GP Dr Anoop Dhesi, chairman of the clinical commissioning group, said; “While the occupancy rate of the beds is quite high, two clinical audits found that a number of patients were ready for discharge. But they had not been discharged because there were not enough services available in the community.”