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Plans unveiled for new £25million Berwick hospital

Thursday, 10 March, 2016
Plans unveiled for new £25million Berwick hospital

Members of the public in Berwick and surrounding areas are being invited to have a first glimpse of the new-look hospital for the town – transforming the near 150-year-old site into a modern fit-for-purpose development.

People are being given the opportunity to see Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s plans for the state-of-the-art hospital at two sessions being held in Berwick in the coming weeks.

Staff from the trust will be on-hand to showcase the architect’s plans for the exciting new development to members of the public as follows:

Wednesday 30 March, 10am-4pm, The Maltings, Berwick

Thursday 21 April, 4.30pm-7pm, Mather Unit waiting area, Berwick Infirmary

Members of the public are invited to drop in at any time on these days to get a preview of the new facility before a formal planning application is submitted to Northumberland County Council.

The new hospital will provide purpose-built facilities to deliver all the services currently provided from Berwick Infirmary. This includes a 30-bed inpatient ward, outpatient clinics, a minor injuries unit, maternity services, diagnostics, physiotherapy, chemotherapy and day surgery/endoscopy.

It will also accommodate Well Close Medical Group, paving the way for further integration between primary and secondary care. Community nurses will also be based on site, helping to ensure patients experience a seamless transition from hospital to home.

Staff at Berwick Infirmary have had huge input and influence on the clinical designs so far in order that they aid the delivery of high quality patient care. 

Subject to planning permission, building of the new hospital on the site of the existing Berwick Infirmary is scheduled to start in summer 2017 and is anticipated to take place over a three-year timeframe.

All services will continue to be provided during the build with the vast majority of these continuing to be delivered from the Berwick site. Day surgery and endoscopy procedures will, however, take place at Alnwick Infirmary during the build due to the specialist equipment involved with the trust providing dedicated transport for patients who would find it difficult to make the journey.

When the new day surgery and endoscopy unit is complete, Northumbria Healthcare aims to provide even more services locally in Berwick hospital such as bowel cancer screening.

David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our ambition to deliver a new hospital for Berwick has been much anticipated by staff, patients and the public for a long time and it is fantastic news that we now have plans to share as we progress towards a planning application.

“This new facility will provide a modern fit-for-purpose environment for us to deliver healthcare services for the people of Berwick and north Northumberland, providing a vital hub for health and care services to benefit generations for many years to come.

“We are particularly pleased to welcome our colleagues at Well Close Medical Group into the new hospital. For many years we have worked closely with our GP colleagues and having them on site will only help to integrate care for patients yet further.

“As we pioneer new models of care in Northumberland as part of our vanguard programme, this is a massive boost to our vision to better co-ordinate care for our patients.”

Annaluisa Wood, matron for Berwick Infirmary, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be in a position to share our architectural plans with staff, stakeholders and the public and welcome people’s views.

“Our frontline staff have put a great deal of thought into the designs to ensure they provide the best possible environment and experience for patients. We encourage people to come along to the sessions for a preview of the new hospital facility on the way for Berwick.

“As I’m sure everyone will appreciate, building a new hospital on the existing Berwick Infirmary site presents logistical challenges and this is the local community’s opportunity to ask any questions. We’ve worked hard to put in place arrangements to ensure our services continue during the build and welcome the public’s support as we get our long-awaited hospital building underway.”

Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer at NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “It’s great to see that a GP practice is included in plans for a new hospital for Berwick which further demonstrates that Northumberland is at the forefront of work in the NHS to deliver integrated care for patients.

“It is yet another excellent example of different parts of the NHS working together with a common goal to bring about real benefits for patients.” 

Councillor Scott Dickinson, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board in Northumberland, said: “This is fantastic news for people in Berwick and surrounding areas and it’s great that people will soon get the chance to see the proposals for themselves.

“It will be a major asset to the town and our county and we’d encourage people to grasp this opportunity and go along to find out more.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick, said: “As a former public governor for Northumbria Healthcare for over 10 years and a great supporter of all the trust is doing, I’m very excited to see the next phase of the new Berwick hospital. I would actively encourage local residents to go along and share their views as we all look forward to a new hospital in our wonderful town.”

Northumbria Healthcare is funding the new hospital through a loan from Northumberland County Council which was approved in summer 2014. The agreement was possible due to close partnership working between the organisations over many years.