New hospital in Berwick will soon take shape as work set to start on steel frame of the building
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Now that work to lay the foundations of the state-of-the art healthcare facility is complete, the steel frame of building can be erected.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, working with construction partner Merit on the scheme, says this a very exciting stage as people in the area will finally see the long-awaited community hospital taking shape.
Lengths of steel, which will make up the frame of the hospital, will be delivered to the site from next week (commencing Monday, October 23), as well as two cranes. It is hoped that construction of the frame will also start during this week.
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.
“I have no doubt of the significant positive impact that our new hospital is going to have on both patient care and experience and on staff experience.
“With any project of this size, it is inevitable that there will be some unexpected issues to deal with along the way. I want to thank the Northumbria Healthcare, Merit and other teams who have got us to this point.
“I know how much it is going to mean to people when we start to see the frame of our new hospital going up.”
Around 4,700 sections of steel, varying in lengths between 2.5 metres and 12 metres, will need to be delivered in batches while this work is done because there is limited storage space on site. This phase of construction will take around four months.
Berwick residents and stakeholders are invited to find out more – including the rest of the programme after this phase – at a drop-in session to be held on Thursday, November 2, between 1pm and 6pm, at the William Elder Building, 56-58 Castlegate.
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 ’no waiting or loading’ restriction on Brucegate is in place and will run for the course of the works to ensure safe access for the deliveries. New access roads to the site, off Brucegate, will be constructed.
Work to install a new temporary ward, to ensure inpatients can remain on the hospital site in Berwick, is progressing well and will open in mid-November. The 10-bed inpatient ward will be very comfortable and have all the facilities and access that the existing one does.
Depending on clinical need, some patients that would usually be admitted to Berwick Infirmary will be cared for at Alnwick Infirmary and the 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.