Norwich health centre ‘changed my life’ - patient’s concern over walk-in centre’s future

Elli Chapman.

Elli Chapman.

Elli Chapman had to wait more than 20 years to get a diagnosis for a rare genetic condition.

The 36-year-old, who lives in Chapelfield, Norwich, spoke of her concern after a health centre that 'changed my life' was faced with uncertainty.

She transferred to Timber Hill Health Centre as a registered patient 18 months ago after years of frustration with the NHS.

'I have had problems with my limbs dislocating since I was 13 and never been able to get the right support from different doctors. I registered with Timber Hill Health Centre and I went from having to manage a rare condition on my own to having a diagnosis with pain control.'

The patient was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome - an inherited condition that affects collagen proteins in the body and can result in stretchy skin, loose joints and fragile body tissues. The condition affects one in 5,000 people in the UK.

The artistic director of Culture Works East said she was 'really worried' about the future of the health centre in Castle Mall.

'I am genuinely concerned for me and my family. It is the first time I have had someone who understands and supports me with this condition.'

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'The GP was really knowledgeable on the condition and pushed for the right things to be put in place. I have had more than 100 A&E admissions but my GP has got me to the point that I can manage some dislocations from home on my own. What he has done has made a big difference and taken the strain off the NHS,' she said.