Biggest NNUH construction programme in 20 years nears completion

8 October 2020

Staff at The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals (NNUH) are celebrating with the culmination of the trust’s biggest building programme since the hospital opened 20 years ago.
This autumn has seen our Acute Medical Units and stroke teams move to their new homes in the £14m 100-bed ward block. They occupy levels one and two respectively, with the third floor housing specialised equipment ready to take more patients when needed.
A highly specialised negative pressure isolation unit (NPIU) has been built and equipped with the latest technology to treat patients ready to take the region’s sickest patients and can be mobilised into action within four hours. The new £7m Norfolk Centre for Interventional Radiology (NCIR) treated its first patients last month.
Innovative modular building processes were used for all these projects which served to reduce building time by a third compared to traditional techniques.
Sam Higginson, NNUH Chief Executive, said: “I am truly delighted to see these projects come to fruition and I would like to thank all staff who have worked to make these dreams become reality. It has not been a secret that the hospital needed to expand its capacity. These developments allow us to do that – and offer more world-class services to our patients. ”
Chris Cobb, NNUH Chief Operating Officer, said: “This is a very exciting time for the NNUH and these changes will increase flow and help provide better care for our patients. There have been significant challenges along the way, but everyone has worked tirelessly to achieve these projects.”
Mark Sheppard, NNUH Divisional Operations Director, said: “The NPIU is a strategically important asset in terms of our response to this Covid-19 national emergency; its primary use will be as part of our surge plan around ventilated beds. Its secondary use, will be to support in the wider management of any number of infection control scenarios which may occur at any time. The team has done a tremendous job in difficult and uncertain circumstances.”
The NCIR is part of the hospital’s long-term plan to develop specialised world-class services for our patients in Norfolk and further afield. These plans include the creation of a new PET CT scanner building on the site. Both of these projects will directly benefit cancer treatments. The Norfolk and Norwich Kidney Centre also opened in Bowthorpe earlier this year and has 39 dialysis stations – 10 more than in its former home on the NNUH site – and has a dedicated home therapies unit where patients can be trained to have their dialysis at home.
The new NCIR will quadruple the number of interventional suites and will place NNUH at the forefront as a provider and training centre for interventional radiology in the NHS.
The move into the NCIR also enables the cardiology department to expand the number of cardiac catheter labs at NNUH and to develop new services such as the rapid treatment of patients presenting with less severe forms of heart attack as well as expand the development of the treatment of coronary arteries that have been blocked for a long time. The additional capacity will also allow further developments in the treatment of patients with heart rhythm disorders either requiring pacemakers or other forms of electrical procedures within the heart.

Visit our youtube channel  https://www.youtube.com/user/NNUHFT  to see videos of our new Acute Medical Unit and our Norfolk Centre for Interventional Radiology