Thanksgiving service for much-loved North Walsham Cottage Hospital
A poignant thanksgiving service was held today to remember a hospital that has a special place in thousands of people's hearts.
North Walsham Cottage Hospital on Yarmouth Road is set to be demolished to make way for a new 24-bed intermediate care ward on the same site.
More than 40 people turned out for the service in the day room of the now-empty hospital, which was led by North Walsham vicar The Rev Canon Derek Earis.
Brian Elliott, chairman of the friends of the hospital for more than 30 years, said it was an 'extremely important' place for the people of North Walsham and its surrounding communities.
He said: 'We've had several frights, with people saying that we might lose the hospital. The latest was in 2007, when NHS Norfolk came into being.
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'But through campaigns by the friends, the town council, the general public, doctors and others, we won our battle and they decided to build a 24-bed until in North Walsham.
'This development is excellent news for the town.'
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The 24-bed intermediate care ward will be split into four-bed wards and eight single rooms and will replace the 18-bed unit in the current hospital.