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Norwich foot patients get boost

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:00 01 July 2010

David Bale

Patients with foot problems will now be treated in a modern, clinical facility - thanks to the opening of the first of two new podiatry theatres at the Norwich Community Hospital.

David Bale

Patients with foot problems will now be treated in a modern, clinical facility - thanks to the opening of the first of two new podiatry theatres at the Norwich Community Hospital.

As part of the £1.5m project, associated preparation and recovery suites and new general consulting and treatment rooms have also been installed and the second theatre will become operational over the next few weeks.

Previously patients requiring operations on their feet or lower leg - such as for bunions, ingrown toenails and arthritis of the toes - were seen at the existing podiatry clinic at the hospital, which has been replaced as it only had one theatre and had become outdated.

The new podiatry unit is also expected to further reduce waiting times while increasing the services the podiatry team is able to offer.

Building and refurbishment work on the project started last August and was carried out by NHS Norfolk and two estates partners - Anglia Support Partnership (ASP), which put together an initial design for the unit, and Norlife, which is an organisation consisting of both public and private partners.

The £1.5m was provided by Norlife, whilst NHS Norfolk has agreed to pay for the facility monthly, on a lease basis.

Graham Copsey, NHS Norfolk's Assistant Director of Estates Commissioning, said: “At a time of economic pressure, NHS Norfolk is looking to make public money go as far as possible.

“This agreement with Norlife means NHS Norfolk has minimal costs upfront, but can make these podiatry theatres a reality for patients now.

“This project is a really good example of a number of organisations coming together to make a scheme successful, so we now have a modern clinical facility which will really benefit patients. The new podiatry theatres will be a wonderful resource for people needing podiatric surgery.”

The new theatres at Norwich Community Hospital will be managed by Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCH&C).

Norlife general manager June Gemmell added: “This is the first project of its kind that I have been involved in since taking my role at Norlife and I am delighted with the result. After months of hard work, we are now in a position to get patients using this facility, which is very rewarding.”

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