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Norwich patients benefit from new-style 'hospital bed'

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:26 01 July 2010

Dan Grimmer

Patients in Norwich have been among the first to benefit from a new scheme which allows them to be given hospital treatment - but not in a hospital bed.

Patients in Norwich have been among the first to benefit from a new scheme which allows them to be given hospital treatment - but not in a hospital bed.

The “acute community bed” has been trialled since January this year by a nurse-led team from the Thorpewood Medical Group GP Practice.

The aim is to give older and more frail patients hospital-level care, but in the community where they are closer to home.

It has already proved such a success that two similar acute community beds have been set up by NHS Norfolk at Benjamin Court, the community hospital in Cromer.

Many older people develop health problems which normally require admission to hospital, such as infections, or they might experience a worsening of an existing long term condition, such as bronchitis/COPD.

But about a dozen patients of the Thorpewood Medical Group have been cared for by highly trained nurses in a specially-designated room within the Woodside House Care Home in Norwich.

It has been a collaboration between the NHS, Barchester Healthcare which runs Woodside House and Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services.

One of the first patients to use the acute community bed is 81 year old Kenneth Redgment from Little Plumstead, who was admitted for a five-day stay after an infection failed to clear up.

He said: "I was very impressed, it was very, very good, everything was spot on. The nurses were great and the food was lovely.

"The bed was nearer to my home than the hospital so my wife could visit me more often so I liked that. And the nice thing about it was that the nurse came across a couple of times a day to see me and make sure I was alright"

The acute community bed in Norwich has been used for about 12 patients since mid-January, all of whom would otherwise have had to go to hospital.

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