Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital extension could create more space to treat cancer patients
- Credit: Frank Shaw Architects
More cancer patients could be treated in Norfolk under a hospital's expansion proposals.
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) wants to extend its Weybourne Day Unit so 10 more chemotherapy bays can be used.
Health bosses say the proposals for a single-story extension, submitted to South Norfolk Council, are in response to an increased demand as more treatments become available to cancer sufferers.
'We are investing £1m to add to and improve the space available, increasing the number of chemotherapy bays from 14 to 24,' a N&N spokesman said.
'This will mean we can treat more patients and will improve the environment for all of our patients undergoing chemotherapy.'
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The unit, used only for cancer treatment, is already open six days a week.
But Joanne Beven, operational director for cancer services at the hospital, said more people would turn to the unit over the next five years, meaning the hospital must respond.
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'As research develops, so will cancer treatments,' she said. 'Over the last five years there are more and more treatments available to patients. In the past there may have been one course of treatment, but now there's two or three. The increase in bays doesn't mean there are significantly more people with cancer, but there are more treatments available to them.'
The planning application says the hospital's 10 year review identified the need to almost double the number of infusion bays, which 'can only be achieved by more floor space'.
If permission is granted, the hospital hopes the extension will be finished by late autumn this year.
It comes as thousands of cancer patients could be denied NHS drugs following a decision to withdraw funding for at least eight life-extending treatments.
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