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Hospital boss confirms dialysis service being outsourced to global firm

PUBLISHED: 14:13 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:13 13 February 2020

Chris Cobb, chief operating officer at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and the Francis Way site where a new dialysis centre is being created. Pic: Archant

Chris Cobb, chief operating officer at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and the Francis Way site where a new dialysis centre is being created. Pic: Archant

A hospital chief is assuring patients receiving dialysis in Norfolk their care will be unchanged when a business takes over the NHS service.

The Diaverum dialysis centre in Colchester. Pic: DiaverumThe Diaverum dialysis centre in Colchester. Pic: Diaverum

Dialysis patients currently receiving treatment in Norwich and Cromer will see their units taken over by Diaverum, which has 400 clinics in 22 countries. The take-over from the NHS coincides with the creation of a new dialysis centre in Bowthorpe, Norwich which is on schedule for opening in the spring.

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The Diaverum dialysis centre at Ipswich. Pic: DiaverumThe Diaverum dialysis centre at Ipswich. Pic: Diaverum

The Norfolk and Norwich Kidney Centre will be one of the largest in the country when it opens in Francis Way. It aims to relieve the burden placed on the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's (NNUH's) Jack Pryor unit which dialyses more than 100 people a day.

It's only just been revealed that a firm will be taking over the dialysis service in the new centre and the current unit at the Cromer & District Hospital in Mill Road.

Machines and equipment will be provided by Diaverum and it's understood this will differ from the current NHS ones. However, staff will not change, and they will still be employed by the NNUH.

Unlike at the NNUH, doctors will not always be present at the new centre. However, Chris Cobb, chief operating officer at NNUH, said: "The majority of dialysis units in the country are run as nurse-led services. Our doctors will have a presence on the new unit and will run outpatient clinics there. Some renal dialysis treatment will still take place within NNUH for emergency cases, those too unwell to attend the community-based service and for chronic dialysis patients when they come into hospital for other treatments."

Chris Cobb, chief operating officer at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Pic: ArchantChris Cobb, chief operating officer at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Pic: Archant

Mr Cobb added: "The trust is working with Diaverum, a national specialist provider of renal dialysis services to set up the expanded service. This specialist new development will make the Norfolk and Norwich Kidney Centre one of the largest renal dialysis services in the country."

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He confirmed patients at Cromer would remain on their current site.

Diaverum, founded in 1991, has clinics in Suffolk; in Ipswich and Aldeburgh.

Francis Way, Bowthorpe, where the new dialysis centre is being created. Pic: Archant libraryFrancis Way, Bowthorpe, where the new dialysis centre is being created. Pic: Archant library


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