Berwick will turn one of its current infirmary into a new £25 million hospital, with all of its previous services still continuing into the new building. After reviewing feedback on previous proposals to develop a joint site with the Swan leisure centre, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) agreed on the development.
“We are delighted to be able to announce that the new hospital will be built on the site of the much loved (Berwick) Infirmary,” said Northumbria Healthcare CEO Sir James Mackey.
“Following extensive joint public engagement, and a thorough review of all alternative sites, we believe this is the best option which also commands the support of both staff and the community – a factor which is very important to both the trust and the CCG.
“It is clear that the joint development was not what the town wanted. Instead, people demonstrated their support for a stand-alone hospital on the current site. Accordingly, we have listened, responded and worked together to come up with this plan as an alternative.”
The authorities will put a major emphasis on eradicating the need to travel for minor or routine appointments in the plans by ensuring they track and publish the number of miles patients have to travel on a yearly basis. The design of the facility will also focus flexibility, embracing new technology and ensuring outstanding care.
“This is great news for Berwick and we are delighted to see the project moving forward in a way that meets the needs of the local community. Patients are at the heart of our services and this decision is as a direct result of the feedback we have heard,” added Janet Guy, chair of Northumberland CCG.
“We very much look forward to working with Northumbria Healthcare to provide a first class health facility for the people of Berwick. It’s very exciting and is brilliant news for both the NHS and the town.”
Preliminary talks are underway with a number of possible developers.