Bed-loss still a concern in Cromer

Terry Skyrme from the Norfolk Coalition against the Cuts campaign group outside Cromer community cen

Terry Skyrme from the Norfolk Coalition against the Cuts campaign group outside Cromer community centre. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Health chiefs have been busy trying to allay fears about a possible shake-up to services at Benjamin Court in Cromer - but some concerns still remain.

Benjamin Court in Cromer. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Benjamin Court in Cromer. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans to move away from hospital-based services to provide more care in the community.

It has proposed creating a new health and community support hub comprising different types of beds and non-bed based NHS and voluntary sector services. This would see the number of patient beds at the healthcare unit reduced from 18 to 16.

The options were developed by a steering group made up of local patients, doctors and managers.

And the public was invited to comment as part of a public consultation at Cromer community centre on Tuesday, August 29.

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Visitors were urged to fill out questionnaires outlining what effect the proposals would have on them, and calling for other suggestions.

One anonymous person commented: 'Don't feel we can lose the two beds at Benjamin Court - The Norfolk and Norwich University hospital is always very busy.'

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Beverley Broadhead, who lives in Cromer, also had concerns, and Albert Winslade, from Sheringham, said: 'I think the loss of the two beds is just the thin edge of the wedge. I've still got concerns about what they're proposing.'

Terry Skyrme, from the Norfolk Coalition against Cuts campaign group, said they were opposed to the loss of any beds at the unit.

However, Cromer town councillor David Russell said he was encouraged by the CCG holding the consultation.

He said: 'The proposals will be debated by Cromer Town Council at Monday night's monthly meeting.'

GP Dr Anoop Dhesi, chairman of the clinical commissioning group and partner at Staithe Surgery Stalham, said; 'This has been a listening exercise. The recommendations come from a steering group that met four times.

'Most of their discussions were about how to use the beds. While the occupancy rate of the beds at Benjamin Court is quite high, two clinical audits found that a number of patients were ready for discharge. But they had not been discharged because there were not enough services available in the community.'

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