Lord-Lieutenant opens NNUH new ward block

17 September 2020

Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk Lady Philippa Dannatt MBE has officially opened level one of NNUHs £14m, 100-bed ward block – the new Acute Medical Unit (I).

“This is a fantastic development, enabling us to treat extremely sick patients – which will be vital as part of our response to any expected second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sam Higginson, CEO.

AMU (I) will provide 34 additional assessment unit beds for our emergency patients. These include four six-bed bays, four rooms suitable for mental health patients and four standard side rooms. Each bay will have its own bathroom so patients don’t have to leave their bay, which adheres to new Infection Prevention and Control standards.

Level two will accommodate Ingham ward a dedicated stroke unit with facilities for early rehabilitation. The third floor has been called “Intwood” and will be deployed in the future to meet our capacity requirements. It has been fitted out to the highest specification for 25 patients to meet future needs including negative pressure lobbies to side rooms and sufficient oxygen capacity to ventilate all 25 patients if needed.

Ingham will become the new home of the Dunston Ward Stroke team while their colleagues, who treat patients with other neurological conditions and initial phases of stroke care, will remain on Heydon Ward.

The additional beds will also permit an increase in dedicated capacity for older patients and those suffering with liver and intestinal conditions, bringing significant benefits.

“It has been a challenge to see this unit come to fruition. I now look forward to us welcoming our first patients this autumn,” said Chris Cobb, Chief Operating Officer.

Lady Dannatt also paid tribute to staff and remarked on their dedication to the care and treatment of patients during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have heard extraordinary stories from people in extraordinary times,” she said. “I feel so moved by everything you have told me. I don’t see how we can ever really thank you all enough. Norfolk owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.”