Hi everyone. My husband and I are wondering about a move to Norfolk in retirement, but of course with his Myeloma, one of the big decisions has to be about how good the local hospital is for Myeloma – we’re very lucky here in London with St Georges nearby. I just wondered if anyone has experience of the hospitals in Norwich or Kings Lynn, or do you have to go to Cambridge for Myeloma treatment? Thank you!
Firstly, I’d seriously think over any move from an urban to rural setting regards healthcare full stop. It’s should be appreciated that services are generally further afield, transport links can be poor and some hospitals aren’t exactly well provisioned to deal with intensive treatment for Myeloma. The Ambulance service in Rural towns even can take an age to reach a patient. Addenbrooke’s of course is great, but if you live in some parts of Norfolk the roads are very poor and it can take forever to get to that hospital. My Sister lived in Suffolk, and it still took an age to get to Addenbrooke’s.
Kings Lynn, in my personal opinion isn’t the best and patients from that area very often choose Peterborough hospital. I have no experience of Norwich, so I suggest you check the CQC pages on inspections and patient views.
Generally, as I have already said, think very very carefully before jumping from an urban to rural area if you have a serious and ongoing health issue. Living in South Lincolnshire, I use Peterborough & Addenbrooke’s, mainly because I’ve personally found Lincolnshire Health Services very poor and the Ambulance service can be a nightmare in terms of response times and have just been placed in Special Measures by the CQC.
Thanks for your reply and you make some really interesting points for us to think about when considering rural vs urban. We were thinking more of East Norfolk, around the Holt/Cromer area, so are looking into Norwich hospital. I’ve contacted the Norwich and Norfolk Myeloma support group (from this website) and we’ve already had a really informative chat with one of the specialist nurses there, so feeling positive so far. I also checked out the CQC website, so thank you for that suggestion too.
My Word, Holt, which I know well, is very remote from anything, Cromer, which I also know is even remoter and as bleak as hell in Winter. Access to Norwich from Holt to Norwich will take about 1 hour by car door to door along an old ‘B class’ road, which is terrible in winter.
The North Norfolk coast has two issues. Firstly the weather and very cold winds off the North Sea make these areas hard to live in over Winter. Secondly, In common with the East Coast of Lincolnshire, people move from the South due to lower cost housing and a rural lifestyle only to have moved into what’s known from a medical view as, ‘A Demographic Time Bomb’. What this means is that lots of non working aged and ill people move to these areas for the reasons mentioned putting a massive strain on all services, especially medical, meaning things like seeing a GP, getting blood tests, seeing a community nurse can be chore. I actually work part-time in the health sector and can assure you that poor access to services is a constant and ongoing topic with both staff and patients in Lincolnshire & North Norfolk alike.
Myeloma is an ongoing and progressive illness, and I should know after 15 years with two Stem Cell Transplants, various issues with broken and degraded bones, disability caused by Myeloma, catching Viral Pneumonia as a result of Myeloma, suffering a stroke while in a coma, due to the ECMO treatment, and six chest infections last year requiring medical intervention. The long-term has to be a consideration with Myeloma in considering a change of house and area.
Personally, If I wanted to move to Norfolk then I’d pick Norwich for a home, because life could become very difficult in these remote rural parts of Norfolk.