Cromer hospital adds to services and increases patient numbers

Cromer Hospital. Left, operational manager Helen Lloyd and matron Anita Martins. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer Hospital. Left, operational manager Helen Lloyd and matron Anita Martins. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Patients are having their varicose veins lasered away at sessions in Cromer hospital which are unique in Norfolk.

They are also having one-stop, walk-in, walk-out cataract removals as the seaside continues to get busier in the £15m complex which opened 18 months ago.

Existing clinics, ranging from minor skin operations to pain management, have also expanded thanks to a combination of the new buildings and cash support from legacies and the hospital friends.

Operational manager Helen Lloyd said the last year at the old hospital dealt with 122,000. The first year in the new one saw 133,000 an 8pc rise.

They were busier across the board, but were also a testing ground for pilot services which were useful to local patients.

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That included lasering varicose veins of five patients a week, through equipment bought with the £11m legacy left by local millionairess Sagle Bernstein which paid for the new hospital.

The Cataract one-stop shop had increased from three to 10 spaces a week, enabling 450 operations to be done in the first year.

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It enabled those patients who were happy to do it, to be seen, assessed and have a 20-minute operation to remove the cataract and replace the lens in the same day.

'Someone who comes in at 9.30am can walk out having been treated at 3.30pm,' said Ms Lloyd. 'The take up has been spectacular, and Cromer is perfect for a pilot site.'

Cromer, which has 122 regular staff, had also introduced new post-menopausal clinics, more nurse-led minor skin operations, extra urology sessions, support for oxygen users, and upped the number of pain management sessions for 14 to 22 a day. Ms Lloyd said the minor injuries unit had also had its busiest summer in 10 years after good weather brought a flurry of falls, foot injuries and sunburn cases.

'Patients are constantly surprised at what we do here.

'We are never going to do major operations here, but we do what we can that is suitable for Cromer and prevent people having to make journeys to Norwich,' she added.

The unit was constantly looking to review and improve its services, and was currently looking to add some artwork to the foyer.

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