Skeleton of new Cromer hospital takes shape

A steely skeleton etching the shape of Cromer's new hospital has risen on to the town's skyline.

The framework for the �15m project is now virtually in place, including the 11m-tall atrium entrance.

It has rocketed up over the past few weeks on land at the back of the existing Mill Road hospital site which used to house the boiler house chimney and a kidney dialysis now relocated to a new home on the complex.

This week steel floor decking will be added, with the walls due to go in from May 9 and the roofing the following week, said David Humm, contracts manager for main contractors Mansells.

About 20 people were currently working on site, and would swell to up to 60 when other trades such as a carpenters joined the workforce later.

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The site's foundations involved some vibrating piling which recently resulted in some delicate eye surgery sessions being postponed at the hospital as a precaution, added Andrew Stronach, spokesman for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital which runs Cromer as its only satellite.

The new hospital will have an increased range of services, including a children's ear clinic, bone density scanning, and all-year-round breast screening, treating up to 10,000 more than the current 93,000 patients a year. There will also be double the amount of public car parking.

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It is being paid for by the legacies left by local millionairesses Sagle Bernstein and Muriel Cox who donated �11m and �1m.

A recent town meeting heard hospital finance director Julie Cave say it was hoped to bring the opening forward from the autumn to the summer of 2012.

But there were also some members of the public who voiced concerns the new project was 'not a hospital', and was just a clinic, because it had no wards, and was not what Mrs Bernstein had intended with her generous gift.

Mr Stronach stressed: 'This is a hospital because it deals with eye operations, day surgery and minor injuries.'

And he said Mrs Bernstein, whose legacy was intended to fund 'general improvements' for the hospital, would have 'no qualms' about a new one being built.

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