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New £25 million Berwick hospital better for patient care

Thursday, 03 July, 2014
New £25 million Berwick hospital better for patient care

A new state-of-the art hospital for Berwick-upon-Tweed moved one step closer today when Northumberland County Council approved a £25 million loan to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation.

The agreement was reached at a joint board meeting held in Berwick.

The new hospital will bring health and social care together proving better overall care to patients. GPs may also work from the new hospital site.

Northumberland County Councillor and chair of Northumberland’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Scott Dickinson said: “Today’s announcement is excellent news for people in Berwick, for the local economy and for the NHS. This loan will allow Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to cut their overall borrowing costs and focus their cash where it’s needed most – in front line healthcare.

“Northumbria Healthcare made a very clear commitment to the people of Berwick to provide a fit-for-purpose, 21st century healthcare facility and has been working hard to make this happen for many years now.  We are pleased we can help accelerate this project.

“Both organisations work very closely together. This partnership is good for patients who benefit from integrated health and social care, some of which is amongst the best in England.”

Jim Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have the support of our local authority partner which means we can secure the very best value for money for taxpayers as we deliver on our long standing commitment of a new hospital for Berwick.

“This development has been much anticipated by our staff and patients for some time and can now move forward with real pace to provide a 21st century healthcare facility which will benefit local communities for many years to come.

“Our teams in Berwick will have a vital role to play working with architects to design the new hospital, discussing the logistics of a phased build and making sure we provide the very best environment and experience for our patients in the future.”

Dr Graham Syers, joint North locality director for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is great news for the people of north Northumberland.  Over the past year we have been looking at how we can make the most of community-based facilities like Berwick

“We’re really looking forward to working with Northumbria Healthcare and Northumberland County Council to design a facility that will help to integrate health and care services, deliver care closer to home and support self-care that delivers high quality services for the local population.”

A series of public engagement events will be planned in the year ahead to share the design plans, before a detailed planning application can be submitted.