Redeveloped North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital officially opened

A community from north Norfolk joined together to celebrate the official opening of North Walsham's hospital today (Wednesday).

The �3.7m redevelopment project saw the former building demolished and replaced with the new, modern ward.

Representatives from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs the North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital, patients, staff and local residents joined in with the celebrations.

Belinda Williamson, a modern matron who has worked at the Yarmouth Road hospital for more than 20 years, said the hard work and effort had been worth it.

She said: 'We are really, really proud of the new hospital and it is an immense pleasure to work with the team here.'

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The outcome of the project saw the old hospital knocked down at the end of 2011 and replaced with a new 24-bed unit, eight more than were available in the old hospital ward.

Following the rebuild, the hospital reopened to patients in May.

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The new building includes updated outpatient facilities, such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, neurological support, continence care, podiatry and services which include rehabilitation care on the ward.

Mrs Williamson said: 'The redevelopment project has taken some time, but I'm sure everybody will agree that our new community hospital has been worth the wait and it is beyond our wildest dreams.'

The new inpatient unit is connected to the outpatients department.

The construction was made from 44 modular pieces which were part-built offsite and came complete with interior walls, ceilings, door frames and electric points.

They were then fitted together and clad with bricks.

The heritage of the former hospital, built as a war memorial, has also been preserved and the hospital chaplain, Canon Derek Earis, carried out a rededication at the opening ceremony.

League of Friends chairman Brian Elliot said: 'We now have something we never ever dreamt we would have. Our forefathers would have been very proud of us.'

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb cut the ribbon to officially mark the hospital opening.

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