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

by Chris Cunniff

Patients will be able to receive intense rehabilitation and full support to return to an independent life when Beccles Hospital reopens early next year, following an extensive £1.65m revamp.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body has approved plans for the newly refurbished Minsmere Ward to open as an intermediate care unit on 1 April 2017.

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

Sean Perry, principal construction manager at NHS Property Services, said: “This major renovation of Beccles Hospital will significantly improve the experience of patients and we have been pleased to support this enhancement of the site.

“We recognise that the hospital is a vital asset to the local community and we have provided £500k of investment to ensure the building meets all necessary safety and legislative requirements and supports the provision of safe and quality services for many years to come.”

A modern, bright day room is also being created thanks to the generosity of the hospital’s League of Friends.

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.

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.

“The ward refurbishment, new side rooms and en-suite facilities will ensure every patient can enjoy the highest levels of privacy and dignity, while additional therapy areas will help patients recover so that they can return home more quickly.

“We look forward to opening the new-look hospital so that patients from across Great Yarmouth and Waveney can benefit from what will be fantastic new facilities.”

The refurbishment has come as part of the CCG’s commitment to transform community-based services to ensure their quality and safety.

Developers P J Spillings are due to complete the work in February. During the construction, inpatient beds have temporarily relocated to the Laurel Ward at Carlton Court, in Lowestoft.