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£5m tonic for our health services

PUBLISHED: 10:33 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:37 01 August 2010

patients in Beccles and Halesworth will benefit

from a £5m investment in healthcare services over the next few months.

Cash for improvements and new services for the rest of this financial year was approved at a meeting of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust (PCT) on Wednesday.

patients in Beccles and Halesworth will benefit

from a £5m investment in healthcare services over the next few months.

Cash for improvements and new services for the rest of this financial year was approved at a meeting of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust (PCT) on Wednesday. A further £1.9m will be spent next year.

The improvements will include spending £340,000 to help clear some of the trust's maintenance backlog.

Of this, £78,000 will go to Beccles Hospital and £55,000 to Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

Some £81,000 will also go to Southwold Hospital, too.

At Beccles, the outpatient department and the Livingstone and Ashford Unit will be refurbished.

New units will be installed, including flooring and seating for waiting areas.

Also, ramps will be installed on the fire exits of Beccles Health Centre and the existing nurse call system replaced.

At Halesworth, the nurse call system will be replaced, too, and an outside oxygen store demolished. New parking spaces for motorists with disabilities will be created, and there will be a new footpath to the physio and occupational therapy department.

Refurbishments at Southwold Hospital will include its main kitchen and occupational therapy department.

The target for all the work to be finished is January, with some jobs starting as early as next month.

Meanwhile, at the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston,

£1.75m will be spent on an infection-control ward. And nearly £300,000

will be spent on an acute stroke service.

The infection-control ward will provide 22 beds for patients with infections such as C Difficile and MRSA and will include two isolation wards and six single-bed wards.

At the meeting on Wednesday, James Paget chairman Bernard Williamson said the new ward would not only benefit the hospital's patients but would be used to treat anyone who had contracted a healthcare-acquired infection within the trust's area.

Other schemes approved for funding include a new screening system for Down's syndrome, which should help to achieve a detection rate of at least 75pc. There will also be £1.14m spent on improving access to dentists.

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