Berwick's new £35m hospital taking shape as steel frame put in place

Berwick’s new £35m hospital is starting to take shape as the steel frame structure is lifted into place.
The steel frame of Berwick's new hospital taking shape.The steel frame of Berwick's new hospital taking shape.
The steel frame of Berwick's new hospital taking shape.

Manufacturing specialist Merit has been constructing hundreds of pre-assembled modules and 17 pods at its Cramlington factory in recent months.

Around 4,700 sections of steel, varying in lengths between 2.5 metres and 12 metres, are being delivered in batches because of the limited storage space on site.

This phase of construction will take around four months.

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As well as the hospital frame going up, steel decking will be installed that will form the ground and first floors and the base of the roof. In early January next year, concrete will then be poured on top of the decking and polished.

A new temporary 10-bed inpatient ward is scheduled to open in mid-November.

It will have all the facilities and access that the existing one does although, depending on clinical need, some patients that would usually be admitted to Berwick Infirmary will be cared for at Alnwick Infirmary and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will also care for as many patients as they can within the community.

It has not been possible to keep patients in the existing ward because the remainder of the piling work will be done very close to the existing ward wall. This will be carried out around mid-November.

A drop-in session for the Berwick Infirmary project.A drop-in session for the Berwick Infirmary project.
A drop-in session for the Berwick Infirmary project.
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A public drop-in session was held at the William Elder Building on Castlegate last week.

Cllr Catherine Seymour, member for Berwick North on Northumberland County Council, said: "I attended our new hospital update and information drop in session, as it moves into next important phase with the team to hear about the works and positive progress as it takes shape.

"The temporary ward facility for our residents will be opening up very soon, so that the hospital build can move into its next phase. It will take another 18 months before completion till we have a-state-of-the-art healthcare facility in place."

Marion Dickson, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s executive director for nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, said: “As someone who has been involved in this project for many years and as a Berwick resident, I am absolutely delighted to be entering this phase of the project."

A ’no waiting or loading’ restriction on Brucegate is in place for the course of the works.