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Beccles Hospital reopens

Inpatients will move back to Beccles Hospital today (21 February) following a major £1.65m refurbishment project.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has reopened the 20-bedded revamped Minsmere Ward.

The ward will then become an intermediate care unit on 1 April after East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH), which runs the hospital, has recruited additional staff, including therapists and social workers. It will provide intense rehabilitation and reablement so that patients can return to an independent life as quickly as possible.

Staff from the CCG and ECCH worked collaboratively with LSI Architects on the improvement scheme. Eight single en suite rooms will be available, along with three four-bedded bays with separate toilet and washing facilities. Oxygen will be piped to every bedside, while patients will be able to undergo intensive rehabilitation in a dedicated therapy area.

The ward has been carefully designed to be welcoming, logical and comforting, and uses colours, text and images which meet dementia-friendly standards. It includes a circular corridor to encourage walking and movement, while each area has been designed to be unique and offer markers to help patients to navigate.

The external spaces have also been designed with vulnerable patients in mind, and include a safe and secure ‘dementia garden’ with seating and raised planters, so that patients can enjoy contact with nature.

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

Cath Byford, chief nurse with the CCG, said: “We are really pleased that the hospital is reopening so that our patients can benefit from the enhanced facilities it will provide.

“This major transformation will significantly improve the experience our patients have when receiving care at Beccles while also helping the James Paget University Hospital to discharge patients who no longer need acute care.

“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 have also worked with LSI Architects to make sure that the new unit will be dementia-friendly and more reassuring for patients with a dementia diagnosis.”

Adele Madin, ECCH director of adult services, said: “We are very excited about the new facilities and are sure it will enable our staff to continue to provide the highest possible quality of care. Our teams are looking forward to being back in Beccles Hospital and I’d like to thank them for their commitment to ensuring that, while the revamp took place, patients received an equally high level of service.”

The construction was carried out by P J Spillings in partnership with NHS Property Services. During the refurbishment, the inpatient beds were temporarily relocated to the Laurel Ward at Carlton Court in Lowestoft.

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 the enhancement of the site and look forward to it reopening.

“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.”

published on 21/02/2017

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Beccles House
1 Common Lane North
Beccles, Suffolk
NR34 9BN
01502 719 500
01502 719 874
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