Publish date: 26 March 2024

Floors of new community hospital to be installed

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Work to build Berwick’s new community hospital will soon move into a new phase.

The steel building frame is now complete and made up of 3,500 individual pieces of steel, weighing around 1000 metric tonnes. The next step will be to pour concrete to form the ground floor, first floor and roof areas of the building.

This work will begin on Thursday, March 28, and will take up to six weeks to complete.

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Various types of machinery will need to access the site, via the Brucegate and Well Close Square, to deliver, pour and surface finish the concrete.

Mark Brough, project manager for Merit, said: “We will start to pour concrete to the roof areas first and this will not need polishing. We will then pour the concrete to form the ground and first floors of the hospital, both of which will need polishing. The ground floor will take the most work as it needs a base layer of concrete, then a layer of thermal insulation and then a top layer of finish concrete.

“In total, we will spend around 16 days pouring and polishing concrete. For areas that require a polished finish we may need to work through the night to achieve the correct finish. The polishing work will result in some increased noise, and we apologise for any inconvenience in advance.

“I know we say each phase of work is exciting, but this phase will transform what is currently just a steel frame into the hospital building.”

It is estimated around 5,000 tonnes of concrete will be used. Once poured and polished, the concrete will then take around four weeks to cure. During this time the groundworks around the structure will continue at pace and work will be done to fireproof the steel frame ahead of the external building material being installed.

Marion Dickson, executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, said: “To see the hospital move at pace is incredibly exciting for me, the Berwick Infirmary team and the local community. Seeing stairs was an exciting development, so having floors will really help us to visualise our new community hospital. A project of this size, in the location that it is, is bound to cause some disruption. I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

“Every day we move closer to being able to provide high quality community hospital care in a really lovely environment, which will make a significant difference to both patient and staff experience.”

Media contact

For further information, contact cara.charlton@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.ukor 07812 389 963.