Protests over possible job losses at Benjamin Court in Cromer
Protesters were out in force in Cromer today campaigning against the possible loss of NHS jobs at Benjamin Court in the town.
As reported, North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (NN CCG) voted in favour of the county council’s £2m offer to turn the Cromer healthcare unit into a re-ablement centre, following a public consultation.
While this will save all 18 beds at the unit, redundancies could be made when the council takes over the building with its own social care staff.
The unit is currently run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), which said it was working hard to retain the staff in the area.
Cromer Town Council also has concerns about the future of staff and the lack of palliative care provision.
Members of North Norfolk Labour Party joined campaigners from the North Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts, the North Norfolk Trades Union Council and other NHS campaigners on Wednesday, October 11.
Jane Worsdale, vice-chairman, North Norfolk Constituency Labour Party, said: “Nursing staff have already been informed that their jobs at Benjamin Court will end and they will be offered redeployment.
“These beds will no longer be able to offer medical care and will be used for re-enablement.”
Cromer Town Council, which meets on Monday night, is also concerned about the proposals, which will be discussed by Norfolk County Council’s overview and scrutiny committee on October 26.
Councillor Tim Adams said: “We are concerned about doing all this in winter, and there’s a really serious need for palliative care in north Norfolk.”
The NN CCG said the proposals should give patients greater access to short-term care, meaning they can leave hospital earlier but still receive support before returning home.
A spokesman added: “The current provision at Benjamin Court will continue to be operational until the end of December with the new re-ablement service launching at the beginning of January ensuring there is resource to support winter demand.
“There was no provision at Benjamin Court for palliative care but the CCG recognises the demand and is looking to meet the need for palliative care in north Norfolk in a different way.”