Northumbria confirms revised plan for new Berwick hospital
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has outlined revised plans to deliver on its promise of a new hospital for Berwick after listening closely to the views of local people.
At a meeting of the Trust’s board on Thursday, NHS leaders agreed to develop fresh plans to build the new hospital on the existing town centre site of Berwick Infirmary.
Northumbria Healthcare is acting on feedback from the local community in Berwick following a series of engagement events held earlier this year. Residents of Berwick expressed concern over delays so far, as well as the very firm view that they would greatly value the new hospital being built in the heart of Berwick town centre, making access easier for patients and visitors alike.
The Trust is now keen to work with all healthcare partners – local GPs, NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local authority colleagues – on plans for the new town centre hospital which presents a fantastic opportunity to further integrate health and social care in Berwick.
The Trust’s original proposal, announced in May 2012, was to build the new hospital on land at Berwick Academy. Since then, Northumbria Healthcare has been waiting for approval and now, 18 months on, has decided to progress an alternative plan that it can move forward with pace.
Steven Bannister, director of estates and facilities at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have always been committed to building a new hospital in Berwick and announcing these fresh plans today represents a significant step forward for local people who have waited long enough for progress to be made.
“Over the past year, we have engaged with the local community and listened intently to what people have been telling us. The overwhelming feeling from Berwick residents has been one of frustration at the delays encountered so far, but also that they would prefer a new hospital to be built in the town centre because it would be easier to get to. Today’s decision shows we have listened and revised our plans accordingly.
“We will now look in detail, with our partners, at how we can build a new hospital on the existing site while continuing to provide services to patients. We recognise that the location of the new hospital in Berwick has been the subject of much debate but our absolute priority now is to progress our new plans as swiftly as possible.”
By working in close partnership with NHS Northumberland CCG and Northumberland County Council, the Trust is keen to deliver on its vision for a first-class healthcare facility in the heart of Berwick which has maximum benefit for the local community for many years to come.