New care centre proposed to stop hospital bed blocking

Hill House as it is, and how it could look if plans go ahead

Hill House as it is, and how it could look if plans go ahead - Credit: Ethos Care Group/Archant

Bed blocking in hospitals across Norfolk could be eased if plans to transform a family home into a private care centre are given the go ahead.

Plans have been submitted to turn Hill House in Hall Lane, Drayton, into a 16-bedroom health base for people recovering from serious health conditions.

It will host people who have required ventilation on intensive care in "local NHS hospitals", and will be under the stewardship of Ethos Care Group.

If approved by Broadland District Council, the inside of the family home would be converted and the building's conservatory and one-and-a-half storey extension would be knocked down to be replaced with a two-storey extension.

The unit could open early next year.

Gavin Elsey, director of commercial operations at Ethos Care Group

Gavin Elsey, director of commercial operations at Ethos Care Group - Credit: Ethos Care Group

Applicant Gavin Elsey, director of commercial operations at Ethos Care Group, said: "The care centre is for people bed blocking ICU beds in hospitals.

"It would care for people who need a step-down facility after serious incidents put them into a coma but have since stabilised.

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"There isn't such a facility in Norwich or Norfolk and we are ensuring the severe and acute need is met in Norwich and Norfolk.

"A number of people have to go out of county because beds are not available."

He said patients could include people with long Covid.

He added 15 medically-trained staff would help with their rehabilitation.

Mr Elsey added the 16 rooms would be split into four living areas to create a homely environment.

A public footpath would also be built along Hall Lane but no new access would be built.

An artist impression on how the Hill House care centre could look if plans are approved by Broadland District Council

An artist impression on how the Hill House care centre could look if plans are approved by Broadland District Council - Credit: Ethos Care Group

He added the plans were significantly different to previous Ethos Care Group proposals to demolish the home, valued at £1.2m in 2019, and build a 56-bed care home.

These were put forward in 2019 and rejected.

How Drayton View care centre will look when completed

How Drayton View care centre will look when completed - Credit: Ethos Care Group

Mr Elsey said the group was talking to Colman Hospital in Norwich and Norfolk and Waveney CCG and places would be paid for through NHS continuing healthcare funding.

Adrian Crotch, who represents Drayton on Broadland District Council for the Conservatives

Adrian Crotch, who represents Drayton on Broadland District Council for the Conservatives - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

Adrian Crotch, who represents Drayton on Broadland for the Conservatives, said: "The demand for that type of facility is needed."

Hill House on Hall Lane in Drayton, which could make way for a new care home. Picture: Archant

Hill House on Hall Lane in Drayton, which could make way for a new care home. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Some patients could move on to Drayton View in Drayton High Road, being developed by Ethos on the former David Rice Hospital site, which will help patients with spinal and brain injuries.