Proposals lodged for new facilities at Cramlington hospital

Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington.Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington.
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington.
Plans have been lodged for a new health and training facility plus a coffee shop at Northumberland’s flagship hospital.

The application is by a partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Assura, a specialist real estate investment trust working only on healthcare premises.

It seeks permission for a an integrated health and education hub on surplus land within the trust’s Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (NSECH) site at Cramlington.

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A planning statement explains that the three-storey building is likely to accommodate a clinical skills and nursing training centre of excellence; space for potential clinical use by a range of health professionals; and ancillary NHS offices with meeting and conference rooms.

A small drive-through coffee shop is proposed within a separate building to the north on the currently undeveloped plot, which was used as a construction compound while the main hospital was being built.

The scheme also includes a small ‘mini hub’; this reserved area could potentially accommodate a further three-storey building to be used for similar health and education purposes.

There would be two access points from the internal NSECH access road and a total of 291 parking spaces, including disabled bays, while cycle parking is to also be provided.

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The statement says: ‘The facilities proposed within the health and training centre are intended primarily to serve medical trainees/students, trust employees and visitors to the wider site, and would add to what is already a site of excellence in patient care.’

Since the hospital opened to the public in 2015, there has been an ongoing series of developments on the site to improve the facilities.

A new £15.6million wing to house an ambulatory care unit – to treat patients who do not need to be admitted – was opened last summer.

Meanwhile, the construction of an £8million centralised sterilisation service department (CSSD) started in May, not long after planning permission was granted.

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LOCAThe two-storey, bespoke, carbon-neutral facility, which is due to be completed by early next year, will have the ability to disinfect and sterilise more than half-a-million pieces of medical equipment a year, including trolleys and beds.