Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to build £14m new ward block

NNUH new block Image copyright NNUH
Image caption The new ward block will be built next to the hospital's two existing acute medical units

A new hospital ward will add nearly 70 new beds to cope with increasing demand.

The three-storey block at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) will house the stroke unit and an extension to its acute unit.

The £14m construction project is the biggest since the hospital opened in 2001 and will deliver "desperately needed" new capacity, say bosses.

It will also allow 110 new doctors, nurses and other staff to be recruited.

The new block, which will be built off-site and moved into place, will be leased by the hospital on a 10-year term.

It will be funded within existing budgets and "built into our long-term financial plan", said the hospital, adding that it was not part of an £850m investment announced on Monday.

'A significant difference'

"I have been clear for some time that we are short of capacity and I am thrilled that we are investing to build new wards on the site, which are desperately needed," said chief executive Mark Davies.

"The new developments taking place at the hospital at the moment are going to make a significant difference for our patients and our staff for many years to come."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The construction project is the biggest since the hospital was built in 2001

When it opened, the hospital treated 60,000 patients a year in its emergency department, but in 2018 the figure had risen to 140,000.

Emergency ambulance arrivals have also increased by 50% in seven years, said the trust.

Subject to planning approval, the first two floors of the new ward unit will be open to patients by January 2020.

A further 30 inpatient beds will be made available when the Jack Pryor Unit moves renal dialysis services offsite.

The new unit brings the total being invested in new projects at NNUH to £40m.

This includes a new Interventional Radiology Unit (IRU) on the hospital's East wing and a new PET CT scanner building, both of which will benefit cancer treatments.

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