Campaign group welcomes plan for standalone hospital

Campaigners have welcomed a decision to abandon plans for an integrated hospital and leisure centre on the Swan Centre site.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 4:23 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 1:34 am
Berwick residents opposed to a proposed integrated health and leisure centre development on the Swan Centre site.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has bowed to widespread public criticism of the proposal and will now look for a new site.

It remains committed to the £25million new build.

Campaign group, A Better Hospital for Berwick, has applauded the move whilst making it clear that it will continue its efforts to ensure a new hospital includes the services the town needs.

Steven Havelin, a member of the committee, said: “We are pleased the Clinical Commissioning Group, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council have responded so swiftly to overwhelming public pressure.

“They clearly realise, quite rightly, that Berwick needs a stand-alone hospital on a separate site.

“We now have the opportunity to develop a big enough building to accommodate all the services needed to ensure local people no longer have to bear the intolerable burdens of travelling such long distances, to hospitals so far away, when so much should be available instead in our own home town.

“That, of course, is entirely in keeping with NHS Clinical Commissioners’ ‘Local Solutions’ guidelines which advocate the provision of services that are ‘place-based...(and) strongly aligned to local geographies and local populations’.

He added: “Indeed, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care echoed that strongly, only two days ago, when he stated that the era of closing small hospitals was over and that people should be treated as close to home as possible.”