A major new wing designed to cut through surgical waiting lists at Norfolk's largest hospital has been delayed again - almost two years after it was planned to welcome its first patients.

The £11m Norfolk and Norwich Orthopaedic Centre (NANOC) had been due to open at the N&N in summer 2022,  but has experienced significant delays throughout the project.

The site is set to perform around 2,500 procedures every year for patients requiring foot, hip, knee or shoulder operations.

The N&N currently has 9,072 patients who have been waiting longer than 18 months for these procedures - a figure that has been unchanged since December last year.

Eastern Daily Press: Funding has been secured for phase two of the N&N's new orthopaedics centre

But, while work on the centre is nearing completion and staff for the centre have already been brought in, further delays have seen the opening date pushed back again.

The centre is now not expected to treat its first patients until July.

A report which went before directors last week stated that the latest hold-ups were due to difficulties delivering equipment to be used in the new wing.

Eastern Daily Press: Simon Hackwell, NNUH director of strategy and major projects

Simon Hackwell, director of major projects at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “As has been previously reported, the project has had complicated contractual arrangements which have caused considerable delay.

"Most recently there has been some delay in signing off some outstanding works.

"These have now been resolved and we are planning for our first patient to be treated in July."

The latest delays will add to the frustration already felt by patients waiting for painful or debilitating conditions to be addressed.

Mr Hackwell added: "I know these delays can be frustrating for our patients who are waiting for treatment.

"I can assure all of them that we continue to work hard to reduce our waiting lists and in the last 12 months we treated 78,000 patients as all those who have joined us to work in the centre have been assisting with our trustwide elective programme, which remains a priority.

"We also continue to have support from the N&N Hospitals Charity which has pledged £2m to equip the centre – the biggest grant in its history."

Eastern Daily Press: A new £11m orthopaedic centre is set to be built at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH). This is an artist's impression.

The initial cost of the project was set to be £11.4m, with planning permission initially granted for the scheme in February 2022.

However, the development has experienced a number of hold-ups, including "contractual issues" over costs with its contractors, PFI firm Octagon.

It remains unclear at this stage whether the project will stay within its £11.4m budget - with bosses tight-lipped over any amount being added to the final bill.

It comes after the hospital welcomed its first patients to another new development - a £8.6m surgical complex at the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital, which is also based at the Colney site.