"Lack of GP out of hours in North Norfolk"

About: Cromer Hospital East Anglia East Of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust / NHS 111 Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a friend),

My partner developed severe and sudden inflammation of her face and neck during a weekday evening. She is a trained pharmacist and knows the risks.

There were no doctors on call in Cromer or Sheringham so I drove her to Cromer hospital. It was closed. There were no guidelines outside about what to do in an emergency.

We called 111. They sent an ambulance team out (about 15 minutes, good response) and advised we had to see a doctor ASAP. The paramedics tried to get us to a GP but the earliest possible appointment was 2:30 am at North Walsham. There was only ONE GP on night duty in North Norfolk.

We were advised to drive to the A&E in Norwich which we did. We saw an overworked doctor there at about 1am.

The absence of any out of hours service by GPs in North Norfolk is the fundamental cause of the overstretched A&E department in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Sheringham medical centre even has a half day closed every week, for 'in service training'. Cromer hospital appears to operate as a simple medical centre.

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Responses

Response from East Of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

I am sorry to hear that your partner became ill and I hope she is now making a full recovery.

I would like to look into your concerns further and I would be grateful if you could contact me on eoeasnt.feedback@nhs.net so I can progress this.

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about the Norfolk Out of Hours Service.

Kind regards,

Emma Sears

Complaints and Claims Manager

Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

We are sorry that you found the Cromer Hospital's Minor Injuries Department was closed at night. The unit operates from 8am to 8pm and deals with a range of minor injuries. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has a 24 hour emergency care service and can deal with illnesses as well as injuries.

We will pass your feedback to the manager for Cromer Hospital and arrange for information to be displayed about what to do when the service is closed.

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Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

The Minor Injuries Unit has put in place a new sign with instructions for patients when the unit is closed.

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