Norfolk and Norwich Hospital plans A&E expansion to relieve pressure

The N&N's new urgent care centre attached to the accident & emergency unit. Photo: Bill Smith

The N&N's new urgent care centre attached to the accident & emergency unit. Photo: Bill Smith

Norfolk's biggest hospital is set to expand its A&E department in a bid to help meet increasing demand.

Work to make the A&E department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital bigger is set to get under way this summer and is part of a multi-million pound investment plan first announced last year.

A spokesman said a temporary expansion would double the size of the A&E department at the Colney hospital this summer while gets underway to permanently expand A&E.

The N&N's current A&E was initially set up to deal with 60,000 people but which has been treating up to 100,000 people a year.

The news comes as calls have been made to increase the A&E service at Cromer to take the pressure of the main hospital.

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It also emerged this week that long waits for ambulance crews to drop off patients at hospital are being blamed for two deaths which are now under investigation. These deaths were not a the N&N.

East of England Ambulance Trust chief executive Anthony Marsh warned that handover delays at our region's hospitals were reaching 'intolerable' levels.

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Paramedics lost the equivalent of more than 100 12-hour shifts in the second week of January because of waits to drop patients off.

In 2014, the equivalent of 2,400 shifts were lost to hospital handover delays.

Act on Ambulances campaign spokesman Denise Burke, from Happisburgh, said: 'It is part of a broader problem. We have more demand and fewer resources. Too many people are sent to A&E both in ambulances and by the 111 service.'.

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