‘1205 signatures on the petition ..represents nearly a fifth of the people living in Cromer town, which is quite extraordinary’
- Credit: Archant
The fight to keep services at a north Norfolk healthcare unit has stepped up a gear with a petition containing 1200 signatures being delivered to health chiefs.
Fears have been voiced for the welfare of some of the most vulnerable residents in the region if bosses push ahead with plans to remove beds from Benjamin Court in Cromer.
The petition was presented by Cromer town councillors Catherine Plewman and David Russell at the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group's governing body meeting on Tuesday, May 23.
It followed a protest by Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts outside the meeting at the ACT centre in Aylsham.
The group also staged a roadside demonstration outside Benjamin Court on Monday.
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Mrs Plewman said: 'I think there are 1205 signatures on the petition. That represents nearly a fifth of the people living in Cromer town, which is quite extraordinary. But the unit is a most extraordinary service.
'The petition was started by a resident at Benjamin Court and people were able to sign it at various places around the town. We asked people to sign the petition, if they wanted to keep Benjamin Court open and for the facilities to remain the same.'
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Mr Russell added: 'Nobody wants to lose the 18 beds, and people are very concerned in Cromer.'
Retired nurse Maureen Winslade, who is part of the Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts, said: 'It's a lovely unit and very much appreciated by the community.'
Dr Anoop Dhesi accepted the petition on behalf of the CCG and the meeting heard from Antek Lejk, NN CCG chief officer, that a consultation over the proposals for the unit would be held over the summer.
He said: 'A steering group has met three times. We expect to engage with the public in the summer about proposals for Benjamin Court. We see the unit as a thriving part of the local community delivery service.'
Notice was served in March to Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust on the beds it commissions at the Roughton Road site.
The NN CCG plans to move away from hospital-based services to provide more care in the community. Benjamin Court provides professional NHS support in both the 18-bed ward and on-site clinics in Cromer.