Health: Review of 2010

The year started with some good news, as a new stroke unit was opened at Norwich Community Hospital. It improved services aimed at helping people recover from the effects of stroked and during the year the knock-on effect was seen, as Norfolk hit more of its targets in this area.

The �15m rebuild of Cromer Hospital, pictured, was given the go-ahead. The project is now forging ahead and is hoped to be finished in 2012.

Concerns were raised over the region's out-of-hours arrangements after an inquest found that David Gray, of Manea, Cambridgeshire, died after being given a massive overdose of diamorphine from locum doctor Daniel Ubani from Germany.

The coroner called for more stringent checks for overseas doctors after a 10-day inquest into Mr Gray's death.

In April, new rules were brought in over mixed-sex wards and the region's hospitals said they had all but eradicated mixed-sex wards in a bid to give patients more privacy and dignity. Dignity was also at the heart of a furore which saw patients reveal they had been treated in rooms no bigger than a cupboard at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and led to promises it would not happen again.

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The new coalition government embarked on a massive overhaul of the NHS, which will include abolishing PCTs and handing over the money to commission services to GPs instead.

In the latter half of the year, stories about spending efficiencies and cuts also started to dominate.

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Expect these issues to continue to come to the fore in 2011, which is looking like it will be a testing and difficult year for the health service.

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