30-month time frame for new treatment centre at the N&N

A new diagnostic and day-case centre which is part of a crucial hospital expansion could be built

A new diagnostic and day-case centre which is part of a crucial hospital expansion could be built within 30 months Picture: James Bass. - Credit: Evening News � 2009

A new diagnostic and day-case centre which is part of a 'crucial' hospital expansion could be built within 30 months after bosses gave initial plans the go-ahead.

In an internal message to staff Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) chief Mark Davies said a business case for the planned ambulatory care and diagnostics centre would go before the N&N trust's board in autumn.

The new centre, with an estimated £40m-£60m price tag, is seen as vital to the N&N's ability to meet future demand from patients.

Meanwhile it also emerged that the N&N trust hopes to make £30m (roughly 5pc of its budget) of efficiency savings in 2017/18.

In his update Mr Davies said of the day-case centre: 'The good news on this project is that the board has just given the go-ahead to progress this and appoint the design team which is essential for a project of this scale'.

The centre is one of several schemes planned by the N&N's management to create more space in a bid to treat patients in line with NHS performance targets.

Another key plan is to expand radiology and cardiology services, which includes developing a permanent building for a PET CT scanner. Mr Davies said this expansion could prompt more use of 'nuclear medicine' - a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine a variety of diseases including cancers and neurological disorders.

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More details about this are likely to be given when the business case goes in front of the trust's board in May.

And plans to redevelop accident and emergency services for children are also being debated.

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At the moment child patients are admitted and treated in both A&E and the Jenny Lind children's department.

'The current discussions are about the numbers of paediatricians which would be needed,' Mr Davies said.

'Before we build anything new we have to decide operationally how this is going to work.'

Meanwhile N&N finance chiefs have already identified £26m of potential efficiency savings in 2017/18 against a target of £30m.

Mr Davies said this, alongside incoming cash from the government, means the trust will aim for a £3.6m surplus next financial year - despite most NHS trusts ending this year with deficits.

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