New hospital could be built in Norwich within the next five years
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A new multi-million pound hospital could be built in Norwich in the next five years, we can today reveal.
Plans are being drawn up to overhaul the 'ageing, inefficient' Norwich Community Hospital on Bowthorpe Road, to provide a 'new, modern community hospital' on the same site.
The news quells growing fears that part of the site could be sold off to the Homes and Communities Agency for housing.
More than three acres of land at the hospital was last month identified by health chiefs as being surplus.
But Mark Page, NCHC assistant director of estates and facilities, said the organisation was looking to redevelop the site - and also to 'move towards more care being provided in the community'.
You may also want to watch:
He said: 'Norwich Community Hospital is an important site for the trust and will continue to be so in the future. But the site faces number of challenges including an ageing estate, vacant buildings and a need for efficiencies in the management of the estate.
'The redevelopment of the site allows the trust to continue to support its patient population and moves towards more care being provided in community.'
- 1 Trains cancelled due to flooding - and more heavy rain expected
- 2 Man taken to hospital after cardiac arrest at beach
- 3 Risk of flooding in parts of region as storms slowly move in
- 4 More storms ahead as flood warnings remain in place
- 5 Joy and relief as Latitude passes off successfully
- 6 Never mind the limo - aspiring farmer rides tractor to prom night
- 7 Family demands answers after 91-year-old dies weighing four stone
- 8 Incredible aerial photos show scale of Latitude Festival
- 9 Cannabis stash worth about £2000 found hidden in home
- 10 Eagle-eyed plane spotter saves pilot's life
Previously the site was home to West Norwich Hospital and much earlier a workhouse. Many of the original buildings were destroyed in the Second World War.
The overhaul of the site would take place over the next five years and a spokesman previously said 'the provision of a new hospital on this site is central to these plans'.
Mr Page added: 'The trust plans to redevelop the Norwich Community Hospital site in order to provide a new, modern community hospital here for the populations it serves.'
It is not yet clear how much the revamp would cost, but Mr Page said the work would be 'cost neutral' and 'facilitated through the delivery of a number of new uses of the site that will be complementary to the hospital and healthcare we provide'.
It is understood all the current services at the hospital would remain, including inpatient rehabilitation and stroke care alongside a range of outpatient services. But Mr Page said other services could also be moved there from other sites in the future.
He said public consultations on the proposals would take place and more details would be revealed soon. To register an interest email email@example.com or call 0344 225 0003.
How does this fit with the region's health plan?
As the healthcare overhaul in our region - known as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) - continues to develop it is believed more attention will turn to NCHC.
The organisation is central to the NHS' aim nationally of transferring more care out of acute hospitals and into the community. And demand on the trust is likely to increase.
As part of the STP, health chiefs want more patients to be treated in the community and in their homes through services NCHC's 3,000-strong workforce is already providing, rather than going to hospitals.
Health bosses in the region have earmarked £300m of savings between now and 2021 as the cash squeeze tightens and demand for services increases. They have also come up with £150m of proposed investment under their STP, which is one of 44 across the country. The plan was first published in November after being approved by the Department of Health.
The site of Norwich Community Hospital has a long history in healthcare and was first home to the Norwich Incorporation Workhouse, built between 1859 and 1860. And the first workhouse infirmary appears on maps from 1883.
A nurses' home, known as Woodlands, was built in 1903. In 1911 the infirmary was extended with the addition of a three-storey administration block and a women's ward. A men's ward, to replace the infirmary, was planned in 1911 but was not built until 1939.
By that time the workhouse had become a public assistance institution. But the main building was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, although the infirmary and Woodlands survived.
By 1948 the site was known as the West Norwich Hospital. And in 2005 - after a £1m investment - the site re-opened as Norwich Community Hospital. A few of the surviving buildings remain today.