New Norwich dementia unit opens its doors

A �13m dementia intensive care unit has been given the seal of approval by patients, families and staff.

Hammerton Court, next to the Julian Hospital in Colman Road, Norwich, has 36 bedrooms, has been purpose built for dementia care and represents the largest ever single investment in dementia care in Norfolk.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust building, which was officially opened by councillor Jenny Lay, the Lord Mayor of Norwich, was named in the memory of the late Cressida Hammerton, who worked closely with the trust and dementia services in Norfolk following the death of her husband, Peter, who had the condition.

The couple's daughter Sophie, 41, who lives in Norwich, said: 'I can't put into words how phenomenally important this building is.

'My dad was overshadowed by the illness and this has all come about from understanding the person with the condition and how they live.'

Heather Edwards, who lives in The Avenues and organises singing groups for people with dementia, said: 'I think it's absolutely wonderful that people with dementia and the people who care for them are being valued and given such a wonderful place. It lifts the spirit.'

Maggie Wheeler, chairman of the mental health trust, said the trust was also investing in helping people to live with dementia at home, but she added: 'This is where people will come when it's no longer possible for them to stay where they are living.'

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The building also has a community cafe, public information hub and a suite for training staff.

Is your organisation opening a new community facility? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email