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Morpeth’s new £18m health centre gearing up to welcome patients

Wednesday, 02 July, 2014
Morpeth’s new £18m health centre gearing up to welcome patients

Local patients are eagerly awaiting Morpeth’s new £18m health centre which is due to open its doors in the spring.

Construction of the Morpeth NHS Centre on the site of a former care home, The Mount at Haggs Field, is nearing completion.

GP and primary care health services as well as outpatient, x-ray and other specialist services currently provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust at Morpeth Cottage Hospital will all be available under one roof at the state-of-the-art centre.

Providing brand new premises for two of the town’s GP practices Greystoke and Gas House Lane, the centre will mean access to new, modern healthcare facilities for the 14,000 patients registered at both practices. The health centre also offers the opportunity for integrated working for the staff and patients of Morpeth’s third GP practice, Wellway, as well as closer working with hospital and community colleagues to provide more care closer to people’s homes.

Northumbria Healthcare’s outpatient, podiatry, physiotherapy, x-ray, speech and language therapy and community nursing, midwifery, dental and child health services will transfer from the cottage hospital to the new centre.

Patients based at the GP practices and with appointments for Northumbria Healthcare’s services will be advised of the change of details in the run-up to the opening.

Dr Alistair Blair, who is a GP at Morpeth’s Wellway Health Centre, as well as being chief clinical and accountable officer of NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that in future will make sure that people living across the county receive the healthcare they need, said the centre will be an asset to the town.

Dr Blair added: “The modern centre will ensure that the people of Morpeth and the surrounding areas are provided for over the next 25 years. It’s great news that the centre will soon be open and delivering high quality health services to people living in Morpeth.

“Staff and GPs at the surgeries are gearing up for the move and are looking forward to welcoming patients to the brand new state-of-the-art health centre which will include new clinical areas to provide modern healthcare services for the local community.

“The health centre will provide high-quality healthcare and the modern equipment will help GPs to do diagnostic testing in the surgery which will save people from having to travel to receive their treatment.”

Dr Richard Curless, executive director of medicine and emergency care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased that the new centre is almost ready to welcome patients. It will provide much improved facilities from which to deliver our many outpatient, physiotherapy, x-ray and community services and give us the opportunity to build on the wide range of services we provide. They all enable care to be delivered closer to patients’ homes and save them from travelling to a general hospital.

“The new centre completes the improvements agreed by the public consultation in 2007 which has seen our inpatient stroke rehabilitation services transfer to Wansbeck General Hospital and inpatient elderly care provided at the Whalton Unit on the Morpeth Cottage Hospital site.”

The Whalton Unit, based in Foxton Court, the Helen McArdle Care Home, will remain on the cottage hospital site. It has 30 beds which provide rehabilitation for the elderly and palliative care.

The new building is designed with energy efficiency and carbon reduction in mind and aims to reduce CO2 output and energy consumption.

Stephen Naylor, associate director of estates at NHS North of Tyne, welcomed the centre which was developed with investment from NHS North of Tyne.

He added: “We are so pleased that the centre will soon open and delivering high quality health services to people living in Morpeth.  The centre is testament to the partnership working that has taken place between all partners involved in this development.”

Sian Rankin, construction manager at Laing O’Rourke, said: “We’re very pleased with the progression of the centre and confident that the patients will enjoy their new surroundings once they move in.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with NHS North of Tyne and to be a part of creating a state-of-the-art facility for the people of Morpeth.”