Temporary inpatient ward at hospital site in Berwick up and running
Fitted out to a high standard and containing 10 beds, it was opened to patients in the middle of last month and 22 patients have been cared for on the ward to date.
It was built as work continues to construct the new Berwick hospital. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has said that the steel frame of the hospital being erected on site should hopefully be completed by the end of February 2024 and it is hoped that the new hospital will be open by early summer 2025.
Located in what was the maternity car park, the ward provides rehabilitation care for elderly patients that may have multiple long-term conditions and also palliative care.
Staff nurse, Louise Melvin, who has worked on the inpatient ward at Berwick Infirmary for two-and-a-half years, said: “Our patients can expect the same level of high-quality care on our new temporary ward. Inpatient care is being provided by the same team as before.
“Patients have reacted very positively to our new ward. They also like the fact that they can chat to other patients in the bays next to theirs.
“Our ward team is also very happy with the new ward. It is a really lovely environment to care for our patients in.”
It has also helped the trust to continue to care for as many people as possible in Berwick, with others being cared for in the local community, although some patients that would usually be admitted to Berwick Infirmary are being cared for at Alnwick Infirmary.
Where a patient is cared for will depend on their clinical need and Northumbria Healthcare will provide transport for patients and relatives as appropriate.
Patient, Helen Aird, who has recently been cared for on the ward, said: “Our new hospital is something that we have needed for a very long time.
“I’m thrilled to bits things are progressing and with this temporary ward. It has plenty of space and is light and airy. Other patients are pleased with it as well.”
Inpatients will be cared for in the temporary ward for the duration of the new hospital build. Maternity, oncology, ambulatory care and minor injury unit services remain within the Berwick Infirmary building and are not affected.