Berwick Hospital development

Update on new Berwick Hospital

Temporary changes to inpatient care at Berwick Hospital as building work progresses

The building of the new £35 million hospital in Berwick-upon-Tweed is now at a stage where changes to inpatient care are needed to ensure that the new hospital will open on schedule towards the end of 2024.

A new temporary 10-bed inpatient ward will be installed in the maternity car park while the hospital works continue. This is necessary to ensure that patients can remain on the hospital site in Berwick rather than be cared for elsewhere in Northumberland.

Some patients that would usually be admitted to Berwick Infirmary will be cared for in Alnwick depending on their clinical need.

Relocation of the ward will ensure the best completion date so that people from Berwick and other local communities can access the new 20-bed hospital as quickly as possible.

Maternity, oncology, ambulatory care and minor injury unit services will remain within the Berwick Infirmary building and will not be affected.

Northumbria Healthcare is working with Northumberland County Council to ensure that maternity patients have access to parking nearby.

Once the frame of the new hospital is up, stairs and floors will be installed along with an accessible rooftop. The building will be clad and glazed externally to weatherproof it and the building will be fitted out.

Finally, the remaining old hospital buildings will be demolished, the car park and access roads will be built, and landscaping work completed.

Read more about the developments at Berwick hospital

Get in touch if you would like to tell us about a health or social care service you or a loved one have used.

Young woman talking to counsellor

£2million investment in Northumberland’s mental health services

Community mental health services for people with serious mental illness in Northumberland are to receive £2million of additional funding over the next three years.

The national funding from NHS England/Improvement is to support more ‘joined up’ mental health care across a variety of organisations, including hospitals, community organisations, GP practices and charity and voluntary organisations, improving access to care closer to home.

As a result, people with serious mental illness, accessing mental health services and support across Northumberland will receive more holistic and tailored care depending on their need – just telling their story once.

Watch the launch video for the programme

Over the next three years, funding will be invested in transforming care for specific mental health conditions.

For example, this year the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is employing mental health practitioners to work in primary care in a joint initiative with six Primary Care Networks (groups of GP practices that work together) to ensure that mental health support and interventions are more accessible.

The community adult eating disorder service will be developed across Northumberland to respond to a range of eating disorders at a much earlier stage. This will enable opportunities for early detection and care being given at an earlier stage, improving the outcome for patients.

Patients who have complex emotional needs, and who may have suffered trauma, will receive support from staff who work closely with their GPs and other healthcare partners to provide greater emotional support.

More will be done to help prevent hospital admission, to seek alternative care and to prevent escalation of symptoms by enhancing the crisis pathways with staff who understand the social aspects of poor mental health, like fuel poverty, loneliness, and lack of employment.

Kate O’Brien, Senior Head of Commissioning, Child Health, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health, for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is such a welcome and needed programme of work and I am extremely proud to be involved in it. We know it is going to improve the support and care for those that need mental health care across Northumberland. And after the last year and a half, this has never been more important. People have been through a very difficult period and I’m sure many are dealing with some very tough personal challenges and circumstances.

“Working in partnership across the wide range of organisations that provide mental health care and support is absolutely crucial to improve access and for this transformation to be a success and I know all involved are committed to improving the mental wellbeing of those that live in Northumberland. The integrated working across organisations will ensure that there is ‘no wrong door’ to access services and individuals should only need to tell their story once.”

GP practices, hospital mental health services and the voluntary sector across Northumberland will also work together to encourage the uptake of physical health checks for those with serious mental illness. These health checks will be available in GP practices and other community settings.

Northumberland Recovery College, which was launched in May 2021, is also part of this transformation work. The college is open to any adult living in Northumberland who would like to improve their mental health and wellbeing. It is not a physical building, but instead provides learning experiences, mutual support, and activities in local communities to improve wellbeing. The activities are often led by people with lived experience of mental ill-health. To find out more visit the website.

Partners working together on this transformation programme include Northumberland County Council, Northumberland NHS Commissioning Group, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Primary Care Networks across Northumberland, Healthwatch Northumberland, Mental Health Matters, Mental Health Concern, Carers Northumberland, the voluntary sector and service users themselves.

Find mental health services and support

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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies is a national programme offering primary care talking therapies to those experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The local service in Northumberland is called Talking Matters Northumberland (TMN) and it offers services to those over the age of 16.

TMN offers approved therapies for a wide range of difficulties including depression, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, health anxiety, panic disorder, stress, sleeping problems, bereavement/loss and relationship difficulties.

This survey is for Northumberland residents who have used these services or may need them in the future. The results of the survey will help NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group to understand what is working well and what needs to improve.

The deadline for responses is 11 June 2021.

Complete the survey here