Contractor appointed for £30m hospital development in Berwick

Local firm, Merit, to build new facility

The new hospital will largely be built offsite to minimise disruption

A new £30m hospital for people in Berwick has moved a step closer as a contractor has been appointed to the project.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has awarded the contract to a Northumberland-based construction company, Merit.

The ambitious project, which was granted planning permission in December, will transform healthcare and the patient experience for those living in the area.

Sir James Mackey, chief executive of the trust, said: “As an experienced and well-established construction specialist, with a varied and impressive portfolio, I can assure the people of Berwick that we are confident that Merit will deliver a state-of-the-art hospital.

“For too long, residents have needed a new hospital which is fit to deliver 21st-century healthcare, now and for future generations, and is equipped to embrace the latest technology to provide our patients with the highest quality of care.

“Our new hospital will also enable closer working with primary care, again improving patient care and the patient experience.

“In these uncertain and difficult times, this is an extremely-welcome innovative development, which will also generate 300 jobs per year during construction and support the local economy.”

Work to enable the demolition of vacant parts of the current hospital is to begin this month and will enable the construction of the new development on the northern end of the site to begin in the summer.

Merit managing director, Tony Wells, said: “We have collaborated with the trust and Northumbria Healthcare Facilities Management (NHFM) to develop a design that has zero carbon emissions, has built in infection control, and is technically enabled for the future of healthcare.

“A large part of the construction work will also be undertaken offsite in the Merit factory in Cramlington. The use of offsite manufacture means we can control the quality, significantly improve the programme, and minimise disruption to those who live and work in Berwick.”

Originally built in 1874, the current infirmary is no longer suitable for the efficient delivery of modern-day healthcare.

The new purpose-built hospital will reprovide all the existing services, with the addition of an accredited endoscopy suite to deliver care closer to people’s homes.

There will also be a GP clinic on site.

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