Publish date: 19 October 2023

Berwick hospital project moves into momentous phase

Aerial view of construction at Berwick Hospital site

Construction of Berwick’s new hospital is moving into one of the most important and momentous phases to date.

Now that work to lay the foundations of the state-of-the art healthcare facility is complete the steel frame of building can be erected.

This is a key, very exciting stage as people will finally see the new and long-awaited community hospital taking shape.

Lengths of steel, which will make up the frame of the hospital, will be delivered to site from next week (commencing Monday, October 23), as well as two cranes. It is hoped that construction of the frame will also start during this week.

Marion Dickson, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s executive director for nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, said: “As someone who has been involved in this project for many years and as a Berwick resident, I am absolutely delighted to be entering this phase of the project. I have no doubt of the significant positive impact that our new hospital is going to have on both patient care and experience and on staff experience.

“With any project of this size, it is inevitable that there will be some unexpected issues to deal with along the way. I want to thank the Northumbria Healthcare, Merit and other teams who have got us to this point. I know how much it is going to mean to people when we start to see the frame of our new hospital going up.”

Berwick residents and stakeholders are invited to find out more at a drop-in session to be held on Thursday, November 2, between 1pm and 6pm at the William Elder Building, 56-58 Castlegate, Berwick, TD15 1JT.

Around 4,700 sections of steel, varying in lengths between 2.5 metres and 12 metres, will need to be delivered in batches while this work is done because there is limited storage space on site. This phase of construction will take around four months.

As well as the hospital frame going up, steel decking will be installed which will form the ground and first floors and the base of the roof. In early January next year, concrete will then be poured on top of the decking and polished.

Mark Brough, Project Manager at Merit, which is Northumbria Healthcare’s construction partner, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this key project milestone in the development of Berwick’s new hospital. Over the next few weeks, the steel frame will be delivered and constructed on site – we’ll soon be able to see the impressive scale of the building. As always, we will do our utmost to minimise disruption to the local community and we will keep Berwick residents up to date with project activity.”

A ’no waiting or loading’ restriction on Brucegate is in place and will run for the course of the works to ensure safe access for the deliveries and large vehicles to and from site. In addition to this, a number of parking bays on Brucegate are suspended.

New access roads to the site, off Brucegate, will be constructed. The boundary of the site will also need to be moved to the kerb edge of the footpath that runs along Brucegate.

Work to install a new temporary ward, to ensure inpatients can remain on the hospital site in Berwick, is progressing well and will open in mid-November. The 10-bed inpatient ward will be very comfortable and have all the facilities and access that the existing one does.

Depending on clinical need, some patients that would usually be admitted to Berwick Infirmary will be cared for at Alnwick Infirmary and the trust will also care for as many patients as they can within the community.

It hasn’t been possible to keep patients in the existing ward because the remainder of the piling work will be done very close to the existing ward wall. This will be carried out around mid-November and will take one week. The existing ward will then be disconnected from services and other required work done before it is demolished.

Marion Dickson continued: “We want to reassure people that we will keep them updated on progress and do our best to minimise disruption. It is inevitable that there will be disruption caused due to the size and scale of what we are doing and considering the space we have to work in.

“I encourage people to please come along to our information drop-in session. We are looking forward to seeing and updating people.”

Once the frame of the hospital is up, stairs and floors will be installed along with an accessible rooftop. The building will be clad and glazed externally to weatherproof it and ensure it is watertight. The offsite manufactured components will then be put in place and the building will be fitted out.

Finally, the remaining old hospital buildings will be demolished, the car park and access roads will be built, and landscaping work completed.

Media contact

Cara Charlton, Head of PR

07812 389 963 or email