Burst water main forces final services to leave town’s hospital

Lowestoft Hospital. Photo by Nick Butcher. Archant © 2010

Lowestoft Hospital. Photo by Nick Butcher. Archant © 2010 - Credit: Archant © 2010

The last two out-patient services based at Lowestoft Hospital will move out next month after a burst water main has rendered the site unsuitable.

From December 5, the phlebotomy blood testing service, which was based in one of the old hospital buildings, will be offered from three sites. One will be in Kirkley Care Centre in the south of the town and two will be in north Lowestoft.

The community dental service, which was provided from a mobile dental surgery parked on the old hospital site off Tennyson Road, will temporarily be running from the Newberry Clinic in Gorleston and the James Paget University Hospital until an alternative site can be found.

Graham Wilde, acting chief operating officer for the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPUH), said: 'We appreciate that the services are being moved at short notice but the condition of the buildings at the old hospital site has given us no option.

'However, patients can be reassured that they will be seen, albeit at different sites, and there will be no disruption to either service.'

The new phlebotomy service will be booked appointments only. However, during the first few weeks if patients do turn up without an appointment, the staff will try to see them and support them to book future appointments.

Other community phlebotomy services run in Waveney by JPUH are not affected.

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The community dental service is a referral-only service. Patients with an imminent appointment have been informed of the new temporary arrangements by letter and have had their appointment switched to either the James Paget or the Newberry Clinic.

The closure of Lowestoft Hospital follows the outcome of the public consultation. A series of out-patient services, including dermatology, antenatal and community paediatrics were moved to new accommodation in Kirkley six months ago.

A spokesman for JPUH added: 'Although the further deterioration of the site has meant that the service needs to be moved sooner than anticipated it does mean that the new service provided will be both north and south of the town which is in line with what the public said they wanted during the Lowestoft Hospital consultation in 2013.

The JPUH, which owns Lowestoft Hospital, is considering options for the future of the site as part of its overall estates strategy.

In the meantime, work is underway to close off all access to the site, including the erection of fencing.

From 5 December, the phlebotomy service will be at the following locations: Kirkley Care Clinic, Clifton Road, Kirkley. Service available Monday-Friday, 8am-3pm; Alexandra Road Surgery, Alexandra Road, Lowestoft. Monday and Wednesday, 8.30am to 2.30pm; Crestview Surgery, Crestview Drive, Lowestoft. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8.30am-2.30pm. Call 01502 273150/273151 to book an appointment.

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