Ultrasound boost for Wells hospital

RICHARD PARR Patient care at the new-look Wells Community Hospital take a major step forward today when the first ultrasound clinic opens.The £85,000 state-of-the art diagnostic equipment has been given to the hospital by its League of Friends.

RICHARD PARR

Patient care at the new-look Wells Community Hospital take a major step forward today when the first ultrasound clinic opens.

The £85,000 state-of-the art diagnostic equipment has been given to the hospital by its League of Friends.

The new equipment raises the prospect of shorter journeys for many patients - giving them the option of a scan appointment at Wells rather than Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Talks are under way to offer the same facility for patients with appointments at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It is also hoped that in the near future, Wells will be an option for all ultrasound scan appointments for patients in north Norfolk.

Hard-working volunteers, led by John Small and Laurie Bryett , have been busy working inside the Mill Road building to create a suite of rooms and changing cubicles ready for the first patients.

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Matron Louise Bennett said: “I wanted to make sure that patients did not have to walk any distance in their hospital gowns and that we could make the best use of the doctor's time. I asked the volunteers what could be done within the area we had for the clinic and they have performed miracles.”

Yesterday the new equipment was formally handed over, on behalf of the Friends' group, by Lady Leicester of Holkham Hall. It was accepted by Jonathan Hazell, chairman of the new Hospital Trust.

Lady Leicester said it was a special day for Wells with the hand over of the most up-to-date piece of diagnostic equipment which can examine every part of the body, except bones.

“The first patients arrive not next month, not next week but today and that is marvellous and takes the hospital a major step forward,” she said.

Lady Leicester also had special words of thanks for the hard-working efforts of the volunteers who have been working inside the hospital since last September getting its re-furbished and re-decorated for its new role.

Wells Hospital was taken over from the NHS by a local charitable trust in September last year following a major campaign by local residents led by Peter Rainsford and backed by the Eastern Daily Press.

It is now safe from closure and the new Wells model has been highlighted by the Department of Health in recent papers on the way forward for community healthcare.

. More information about the hospital and the other out-patient clinics now open can be found on its website ; www.wellshospital.org.uk. The hospital can be contacted direct on 01328 711996 and visitors are always welcome to call in.