Widow of former Cromer councillor joins calls to save healthcare unit

Denise Bussey holding a photo of her late husband, David Bussey: Pictures David Bale

Denise Bussey holding a photo of her late husband, David Bussey: Pictures David Bale - Credit: Archant

The widow of a former Cromer councillor who received excellent care at the town's under-threat Benjamin Court has joined calls for it to be kept open.

Denise Bussey, 62, said her husband David, who was a town councillor for 12 years, would be opposed to any loss of beds at the unit.

Hundreds of people have already signed a petition calling for the healthcare unit to be kept open.

Last month health chiefs served notice to Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust on the beds it commissions at the Roughton Road site.

The North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group plans to move away from hospital-based services to provide more care in the community and has developed a new 'Supported Care' model, which is due to be rolled out in May.

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The removal of beds could mean patients in the town being forced to make a 44-mile round-trip to Wells.

Mrs Bussey, a grandmother-of-one from Lynewood Close, Cromer, said: 'I was very sad to read that the beds at Benjamin Court are under-threat.

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'My late husband David spent the last three weeks of his life on palliative care, and he received the upmost care from the dedicated staff there.

'I am so glad he spent those last weeks of his life there and not in the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital where their care would not have been the same, as there's so much more pressure in a general hospital than a community hospital.

'Being so local to my home, I was able to visit daily, which was so convenient. The transport to Wells is very difficult as I do not drive, the same as many other people in this situation as myself.'

Last week a special meeting was held in the town to discuss threats to beds at the unit, and a petition has been set up to keep it open.

Cromer Mayor Tim Adams said the consensus at the meeting was unanimously against the loss of any intermediate care beds at the unit. The NN CCG said it did not intend to close the unit, but was looking at another care model for services.

A town council spokesman said that about 165 people had already signed the petition. It's available to sign on Cromer Town Council's Facebook page and at the entrance to its offices at North Lodge. It will be presented to the NN CCG in about two weeks' time.

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