Planning permission granted for new unit on hospital roof
- Credit: NNUH
Planning permission has been granted for a major expansion of interventional radiology facilities at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with plans for four labs to be constructed on the roof.
The build, on top of the East wing of the hospital, would replace the current 1.4 IRU labs, where one lab is shared with cardiology
The vacated space would then be used to expand the number of cardiology cath labs used to treat heart conditions from 2.6 to four.
The additional capacity is required for both IRU and cath lab as a result of an increasing demand on services.
The project will directly benefit patients by reducing waiting times for procedures in both IRU and cath lab which in turn will lead to better clinical outcomes for patients. The project would also enable new services to be offered in future, including stroke thrombectomy where blood clots are directly removed from the brain following a stroke.
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Dr Richard Goodwin, chief of service, said: 'The expansion will reinforce our status as a major vascular centre for the region, allowing us to support our neighbouring Trusts and the wider region. Having our own recovery area will mean we can admit patients and discharge them straight away from IR rather than having to wait for ward beds. That makes our ability to deliver day case work a great deal easier.
'There is mounting evidence that suggests stroke thrombectomy procedures to remove clots can significantly improve chances of recovery for some patients so that is something we are keen to develop. The new unit will be a fundamental step change in our ability to deliver vascular services at NNUH.'
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Dr Mike Crawford, consultant radiologist and interventional lead, said the expansion would transform the current service for both patients and staff.
He said: 'The immediate benefit for our patients will be significantly reduced waiting times. We have one of the bigger vascular units in the country and this expansion will allow patients to be treated in a timely manner. It will also allow the service to further develop in areas where it has previously been restricted due to capacity. There are lots of exciting new treatments for people with cancer which involve minimally-invasive treatments. Ultimately our patients are going to get a fantastic first class service and that's the most important thing.'
Simon Hackwell, director of strategy, said: 'We have received support for this expansion from our commissioners and other partners in the STP. This is our first priority in terms of expanding our services and we anticipate that first work on the IRU development could begin in 2019 as soon as funding is agreed.'