New care centre proposed to stop hospital bed blocking
- 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.
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.
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.
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 for the Conservatives, said: "The demand for that type of facility is needed."
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.