We deserve the very best

Following recent letters, I'd like to state my reasons as to why Berwick needs a better hospital.

Friday, 7th December 2018, 8:00 am

In the short time it’s taken for A Better Hospital For Berwick to establish itself (with almost 4,000 members on its Facebook page), it has become increasingly apparent that more and more patients are travelling long distances to access more and more treatments and minor procedures, or to have very short conversations with their consultant, doctor or nurse.

This ranges from pre-op assessments to endoscopies, x-rays to scans and ultra sounds, plaster casts applied and removed, physiotherapy, hearing tests (including for newborn babies), eye examinations in Manor Walks shopping centre at Cramlington, and blood tests for children.

Patients are now even being directed to city hospitals to be shown how to fit surgical stockings.

To access these services and treatments, patients – regardless of their age or frailty – are forced to undertake long and often debilitating journeys of over 100 miles, in all weather conditions and on sub-standard roads.

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This present situation is neither right nor fair. We deserve much better.

Not so very long ago, we had all of these services provided locally, along with a 30-bed ward for elderly and recovering patients, not to mention that before that we had a hospital with well over 100 beds and operations being carried out every week.

A Better Hospital For Berwick volunteers have been out and about knocking on doors and manning stalls at both Berwick and Spittal charity events to spread the word and raise awareness of our campaign’s aims.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust must restore the services we have lost to a new hospital that is big enough and well enough equipped and staffed to serve all of our needs, both now and for the future.

The population of Berwick and its environs is growing. Hundreds of houses are in the pipeline; holiday parks are expanding; tourism is growing.

Our elderly population is increasing considerably, too.

It is imperative that the town’s people stand together now, more than ever before, so as not to allow our new hospital to be built without its being future-proofed for everyone’s needs.

Don’t be persuaded that the problems facing us are because we are living longer and therefore putting a bigger strain on finances. We’ve been growing older for a long time now and this fact should have been addressed much sooner.

We don’t just deserve A Better Hospital For Berwick; we deserve the best – a fit-for-purpose new hospital.

Nothing less is good enough.

Jen McLean

A Better Hospital For Berwick