Beccles Hospital to reopen following £1.65m refurbishment

The Minsmere Ward has reopened at Beccles War Memorial Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The Minsmere Ward has reopened at Beccles War Memorial Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Inpatients will move back to Beccles Hospital tomorrow following a major £1.65m refurbishment project.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will reopen the 20-bed revamped Minsmere Ward to patients.

The ward will then become an intermediate care unit on April 1 after East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH), which runs the hospital, recruited additional staff, including therapists and social workers.

It will provide intense rehabilitation and reablement so that patients can return to an independent life as quickly as possible.

Eight single en suite rooms will be available, along with three four-bed bays with separate toilet and washing facilities. Oxygen will be piped to every bedside, while patients will be able to undergo intensive rehabilitation in a dedicated therapy area.

The ward has been designed carefully to be welcoming, logical and comforting, and uses colours, text and images which meet dementia-friendly standards.

It includes a circular corridor to encourage walking and movement, while each area has been designed to be unique and offer markers to help patients to navigate.

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The external spaces have also been designed with vulnerable patients in mind, and include a safe and secure 'dementia garden' with seating and raised planters, so that patients can enjoy contact with nature.

Cath Byford, chief nurse with the CCG, said: 'We are really pleased that the hospital is reopening so that our patients can benefit from the enhanced facilities it will now provide.

'This major transformation will significantly improve the experience that all our patients have when receiving care at Beccles while also helping the James Paget University Hospital to discharge patients who no longer need acute care.

'The ward refurbishment, new side rooms and en-suite facilities will ensure every patient can enjoy the highest levels of privacy and dignity, while additional therapy areas will help patients recover so that they can return home more quickly. We have also worked with LSI Architects to make sure that the new unit will be dementia-friendly and more reassuring for patients with a dementia diagnosis.'

Staff from both the CCG and ECCH worked collaboratively with LSI Architects on the improvement scheme.

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