New model considered for hospital
A new hospital in Berwick could form part of an integrated development including health, social care and leisure services.
NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with partners at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council to consider the possibility.
A listening exercise is being launched, with a series of informal drop-in sessions arranged to give members of the public the chance to give their views about the potential new integrated development and the different sites available.
Plans for a £25million redevelopment of Berwick Infirmary were paused 18 months ago to allow time to consider the implications of local, regional and national healthcare strategies and also to consider the findings of a review of Berwick Infirmary which looked at how it could best be used to meet the healthcare needs of local people.
Siobhan Brown, chief operating officer of NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “We remain committed to supporting the development of a new hospital for people that would be fit for the future and best meet the needs of the population.
“There has been some early thinking on the possible development of a new integrated health, social care and leisure complex in Berwick.
“Much more detailed planning is needed but this could potentially mean a new complex with inpatient, outpatient and other hospital services, some GP services, and bringing together some health and care staff who work in the community, as well as leisure services.”
If this model was to be pursued, an important step would be to identify a suitable location and the CCG is also keen to seek views on several sites that are available.
“Over the years we have already had lots of discussions with people in Berwick,” said Siobhan. “This is a new way forward and we really want to sound people out on their thoughts about it. We feel there is potential to offer some real benefits to local people if all of these services were on one site.
“We’re holding a series of events and would encourage people to drop in and talk about the new ideas around an integrated hospital development for Berwick and the surrounding area.”
The CCG is pleased that the Berwick Regeneration Commission is now in place with membership including county councillors, town councillors and public governors from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. This will ensure that any new development contributes to the wider regeneration of the town and that opportunities can be taken for integrating services to ensure maximum benefits for local people.
Daljit Lally, Executive Director of Delivery at Northumbria Healthcare said: “We know people in Berwick are keen to see the hospital regenerated and we are pleased that we are now able to provide an update and seek people’s views. The integration of health services and their co-location with a leisure facility reflects the very latest thinking in how to deliver world class care.
“We understand there is some frustration in the community that things have taken so long but we remain 100 per cent committed to a new hospital development for Berwick and are very keen to explore this idea further.”
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NHS Northumberland CCG, the GP-led organisation responsible for the planning and purchasing of healthcare in Northumberland, is leading the listening exercise.
At this early stage the CCG wishes to hear local people’s views about their thoughts on such a development, which is different to what has been discussed previously.
Details of the drop in sessions taking place follow:
· Tuesday 27 February, 2pm – 6pm, Jubilee Club, Spittal, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 2JL
· Wednesday 28 February, 9am – 4pm, Northumbria Healthcare ‘Join our Journey’ trailer, Berwick Market Place, TD15 1BN
· Thursday 1 March, 12.30pm – 3.30pm, United Reformed Church, Main Street, Spittal, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1QY,
· Thursday 1 March, 10am – 12pm, Northumbria Healthcare Join our Journey Trailer, Belford Market Square, (outside Blue bell), Market Place, Belford, NE70 7NE
· Thursday 1 March, 2pm-4pm, Northumbria Healthcare Join our Journey Trailer, Cheviot Centre, Padgepool Place, Wooler, NE71 6BL
· Saturday 3 March, 12.30pm – 3.30pm, Tweedmouth Church Hall, Church Rd, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2AJ
· Tuesday 6 March, 12pm – 2pm, Swan Centre, Northumberland Rd, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 2AS
· Thursday 8 March, 4.30pm – 6.30pm, St Mary’s School, Newfields, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1SP