Hospital and charity representatives gathered to mark the start of work on a state-of-the-art cancer care and support centre at Cromer and District Hospital.
They were joined by Norwich-based firm Pentaco Construction Ltd which won the contract for the work, which will see the refurbishment and extension of the Davison Unit, a disused ward at the hospital.
The North Norfolk Macmillan Centre is being funded and built in partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity.
The building work on the £4.85million project is expected to take around a year, with the new centre enabling patients with cancer to access treatment and support closer to home.
The centre will include:
• Six chemotherapy treatment chairs with capacity to treat up to 36 patients a day.
• Three new clinic rooms and two new minor procedure rooms, creating an additional 10,000 outpatient appointments annually and space for new cancer diagnostics, including prostate biopsy.
• A Macmillan cancer information and support centre.
• The new unit will also free up space in the main Cromer Hospital building to deliver an extra 600 surgical procedures in dermatology, urology, vascular surgery and pain management.
Jo Haywood, chair of Macmillan’s North Norfolk Fundraising Committee, said: “It’s wonderful to see building work progressing and this will make such a difference to cancer patients living in North Norfolk who are currently travelling to Norwich for their treatment.
“Cromer Hospital was originally built using public donations so there’s a great parallel there between what happened then and the current work. This means so much to the people of North Norfolk.”
Sam Higginson, Chief Executive of NNUH said: “This is an important step in delivering extra services at Cromer as part of our mission to deliver first class treatments to the population in North Norfolk and further afield. We are delighted to see the work get underway providing additional capacity to meet the needs of an older, rural patient group.”
For more information about N&N Hospitals Charity, go to www.nnhospitalscharity.org.uk or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NNUHCharity or https://www.facebook.com/nnuhcharity1/