Intermediate care unit to open at Beccles Hospital following £1.65m revamp

An intermediate care unit will be opened at Beccles Hospital in April. Picture: Nick Butcher.

An intermediate care unit will be opened at Beccles Hospital in April. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

An intermediate care unit will be opened at Beccles Hospital next year following an extensive £1.65m revamp.

The newly refurbished Minsmere Ward will be opened as the care unit on April 1 and will offer patients intense rehabilitation and full support to return to an independent life.

The plans were approved during a meeting of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) governing body on Thursday.

It comes following a major refurbishment of the 20-bed facility, carried out in partnership with NHS Property Services. Once the hospital reopens, eight single en suite rooms will be available, along with three four-bed bays with separate toilet and washing facilities, all of which will meet dementia-friendly standards.

There will be a dedicated therapy area and a modern day room thanks to the generosity of the hospital's League of Friends.

Work will now begin to recruit additional staff for the unit, including therapists, a ward clerk and social worker. They will provide rehabilitation and reablement to patients who are well enough to be discharged from an acute hospital, such as the James Paget in Gorleston, but still need nursing support, physiotherapy or occupational therapy and, in some cases, input from social care.

The services, which are provided by East Coast Community Healthcare, will be available seven days a week so that patients can return home as quickly as possible.

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Cath Byford, director of commissioning and quality with the CCG, said: 'We are pleased that work on the intermediate care unit is progressing, and that patients will soon be able to benefit from the enhanced facilities it will provide. We have worked with the architects to make sure that the new unit will be dementia-friendly and more reassuring for patients with a dementia diagnosis.

'This major transformation will significantly improve the experience our patients have when receiving care at Beccles while also helping the James Paget to discharge patients who no longer need acute care, in turn making best use of its beds.'

Work on the unit is due to be completed in February.

During the construction, inpatient beds have been temporarily relocated to the Laurel Ward at Carlton Court, in Lowestoft.

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