Protest planned at Norfolk’s biggest hospital over healthcare changes after wards close temporarily

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Date: Aug 2014. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Date: Aug 2014. Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Mike Page

NHS campaigners plan to hold a protest against changes to healthcare which they fear will impact on the quality of treatment to patients.

Keep Our NHS Public's Norfolk branch will gather outside the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital this week to voice their opposition to any potential cuts to services that are being drawn up in the region's sustainability and transformation plan.

The plan, which the public will be consulted on this autumn, is in the process of being finalised but will set out how healthcare in our region will be provided over the next five years.

Nearly 70 beds were closed at the N&N last month though chiefs said they would reopen at the end of October.

The beds are on Cringleford and Mattishall wards, while this newspaper understands more than half of beds on Edgefield Ward are in use - following the ward closing temporarily last month.

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A spokesman for the campaign group said: 'Sustainability means cuts and transformation means sell-offs.'

They said the group plans to hold a series of protests against the changes.

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Richard Parker, chief operating officer at the trust, said: 'We have been flexing bed numbers depending on the demand for services and these wards have been used on a number of occasions.

'As we move into the autumn, we expect the number of admissions to increase as winter illnesses start to circulate and we will need these wards to be fully operational again.'

The protest is on Thursday from 7am-11am. It will be held on the mount in front of the N&N hospital sign by the main traffic island and everyone is welcome to join in.

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