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Double investment in patient care in Berwick unveiled

Tuesday, 26 June, 2018
Double investment in patient care in Berwick unveiled

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has installed digital x-ray equipment and fully revamped its oncology day unit – an investment of around £180,000 – at Berwick Infirmary.

This enables patients to receive care closer to home and the investment underlines the trust’s commitment to providing services in Berwick.

The two facilities have been officially opened by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick upon Tweed.

The new digital x-ray equipment brings, for the first time, the latest diagnostic technology to Berwick benefitting patients staying on the ward or those who are referred by their GP, from urgent care or from an outpatient appointment.

The new equipment is so much easier for patients to access and the machine itself produces quicker and higher quality images. This means patients will have an overall enhanced experience.

The refurbished oncology day unit has created a much-improved environment for patients.

The area has been modernised to form a more welcoming, brighter space which enhances the privacy and dignity of patients living with cancer receiving chemotherapy and supportive treatments, and those with haematology conditions.

By freeing up space at the entrance to the unit, disabled access has been improved and a separate beverage bay and seating area for patients and their relatives has been established.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I am delighted to have been invited by Northumbria Healthcare to officially open the new x-ray equipment and refurbished oncology unit at Berwick Infirmary.

“I am pleased that the NHS trust has shown confidence to make the financial commitment to Berwick Infirmary, ensuring that these units are up-to-date and functional for the people of Berwick and north Northumberland.

“Whilst at the Infirmary I was able to meet and chat to staff who are clearly very dedicated to the patients they look after and are proud to provide vital services within Berwick.”

Dr Mark Twemlow, consultant radiologist and joint clinical lead for radiology at the trust, said: “We’re passionate about providing care closer to home to save patients from travelling further afield and we’re delighted to be able to invest in services for patients in Berwick.

“The improvements we’ve made reaffirm our commitment to Berwick and the new digital x-ray equipment means that patients have access to the latest diagnostic technology in their own community.”

Allison Nielsen, lead chemotherapy clinical nurse specialist at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We’re delighted with our refurbished oncology day unit here in Berwick and the feedback we’ve had from our patients has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Having a much brighter, more welcoming space makes such a difference to our patients and their families.

“We’re very proud of our unit and all that it has achieved in the last decade and would like to thank everyone who has fund-raised for the unit over the years to ensure our patients receive their treatment in the best-possible environment.”

The unit was opened in 2008 following the success of the pioneering nurse-led service at Hexham General Hospital – the first of its kind in the country – and is seen as a trailblazer for community hospitals.

The revamp brings the unit into line with the rest of the trust which have been refurbished in a more welcoming, less clinical way

Northumbria Healthcare is working with NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group and Northumberland County Council on plans for a new healthcare facility in Berwick and a business case is expected this summer. The newly-installed equipment at Berwick Infirmary will transfer to the new facility.