Listening exercise launched to hear views on a possible new integrated hospital development for Berwick

A listening exercise is being held for people in Berwick and the surrounding area to give their views on the possibility of a new integrated hospital development.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with partners at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council to consider the possibility of the new hospital in Berwick being part of an integrated development including health, social care and leisure services.

A listening exercise is being launched this month with a series of informal drop in sessions at community venues around Berwick to give members of the public the chance to call by for a short time to give their views about the potential new integrated development and about the different sites that are available.

People living in the Belford and Wooler areas will be able to call by the Northumbria Healthcare ‘Join our Journey’ trailer which will be parked up in those areas to give their views. There will also be a trailer in Berwick Market Place.

The plans to redevelop 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.

NHS Northumberland CCG, the GP-led organisation responsible for the planning and purchasing of healthcare in Northumberland, is leading the listening exercise.

Siobhan Brown, the Chief Operating Officer of NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “We remain committed to supporting the development 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.”

“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% committed to a new hospital development for Berwick and are very keen to explore this idea further.”

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, 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

For further information or if you would like to confirm your attendance please contact Melody Price 01670 335185 or email melodyprice@nhs.net. You can also give your views by visiting NHS Northumberland CCG’s website