Plans to deliver a new hospital in the heart of Berwick are moving forward, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has revealed.
Following revised plans to build the new hospital on the existing site of Berwick Infirmary, the trust is now beginning discussions with its frontline clinical teams in Berwick to get their views on how services can work best in a new healthcare facility.
This is the first step in the process to develop plans for a new, fit-for-purpose, 21st century Berwick hospital.
The discussions will ensure that all frontline staff working at the infirmary have the opportunity to give their views about how the new hospital building will work best for patients.
Paul Brayson, project manager for the new hospital in Berwick, said: “We have wanted for a long time to progress our plans for a new hospital in Berwick and talking to our frontline teams is the first important step in this process.
“It is important that all our staff in Berwick have the chance to fully participate in these initial discussions to help us ensure that the design of the new hospital provides the very best environment for patients in the future.
“Our frontline colleagues in Berwick have the best insight and knowledge as to the difficulties with the existing old building and where we can make real improvements to our patients’ experience of care in a modern facility.
“Their input will also be vital when we come to discuss the logistics of a phased build.”
The services currently provided from Berwick Infirmary will continue in the new hospital, and Northumbria Healthcare is also working with partners to discuss how the new development can help further integrate health and social care services in Berwick.
The Trust announced at the end of 2013 its intention to rebuild Berwick Infirmary on the existing town centre site after listening to the views of local people.
Once initial discussions with staff and other partners are complete, the Trust can move forward to appoint an architect team and contractor to develop a detailed technical design.
A series of public engagement events will be planned later in the year to share the plans, before a detailed planning application can be submitted. Mr Brayson added: “As soon as we are in a position to share designs then of course we will. Until then, we are fully committed to keeping stakeholders openly informed on the important groundwork that is going on now.”