“The North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group have voted in favour of the Norfolk County Council’s £2 million offer to turn the Cromer unit into a re-ablement centre.
This should give patients greater access to short-term care, meaning they can leave hospital earlier but still receive further support before returning home.
The vote also means that the CCG’s original proposal to remove two of the beds at Benjamin Court will not come to light. The proposal saw 16 beds at the Cromer unit being used for palliative care, IV, and Discharge to Assess beds.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of NHS North Norfolk CCG, said: “Our public consultation allowed us to listen to the thoughts and views of the public and we are very grateful to all those who responded and gave us such valuable insights.
“We are very pleased that a further idea was proposed by our colleagues at Norfolk County Council. Using the beds for re-ablement will still help reduce pressure on hospitals and dovetail with our Supported Care service.”
Bill Borrett, chairman of the Adult Social Services Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “We care about people who have had a stay in hospital and we understand that most of them want to be able to return home and live independently for as long as possible. Our re-ablement services allow that to happen by helping those who need some extra support for a short period of time.
“Re-ablement services can mean shorter stays in hospital and less reliance on long-term care as people return home. We are looking to develop more of these services across the county and think that leasing Benjamin Court will improve our ability to support people in Norfolk.”
However due to the County Council taking over the building with their own staff, some redundancies may be made when the takeover takes place.
Lorrayne Barrett, Director of Integrated Care for Norfolk Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), said; “While NCH&C are confident that this decision is the best way forward for the local community, reducing pressure on hospital beds, we are aware that this will have implications for our staff.
“This is a highly experienced, skilled and committed staff group and we are continuing to support and consult with them to provide clarity during this prolonged period of uncertainty, and we will work hard in partnership with them to retain them in the local health and social care services.”