As we seek to move past Covid-19 and the NHS struggles to recover from backlogs that see millions of people waiting for treatment, hospital trusts across the North East are working hard to build and revamp facilities to help.
From a new children’s cardiac unit building at RVI to plans for a £36m eye hospital in Sunderland, it’s not hard to find exciting plans that will transform the NHS across the North East . Even as the pandemic continues, the powers that be within the health service have worked hard to increase capacity and make things easier for patients and staff.
For example, the Newcastle Westgate Cataract Center has opened on the site of the former General Hospital, while in Gateshead new mental health services for older people have opened to revolutionize the way vulnerable people are cared for. charge. Hopefully if the Covid-19 cases drop and – in some cases – the right funding is secured, it will be a sign of things to come.
Read more: Newcastle hospitals face ‘real challenges’ to tackle two-year waiting list before deadline
Below is an overview of some of the innovative developments at NHS acute care hospitals in the region:
Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust
At Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, plans are underway to turn the Freeman Hospital grounds into a new center for outpatient surgery and similar procedures. Work is underway and the Trust hopes its elective processing center – worth £20million – will be open for business by the end of the summer.
The building will include four operating theaters and will allow doctors to perform an additional 3,000 “low complexity procedures”, including cardiothoracic and urological procedures. The plans were first unveiled in October 2021 – showing how the trust is working quickly to put this in place as it races to help the more than 90,000 people currently awaiting treatment.
Further down the road, the trust hopes to receive funding from the government’s New Hospitals Program to build its planned Richardson Wing – which in years to come will transform the RVI. The £190m building would house – if funding is approved – many of the hospital’s specialist departments, including intensive care, a burns ward and maternity ward.
The trust also recently launched a consultation on plans for a new children’s heart unit. The service will be moved from the Freeman site to the RVI site – as this means it is located next to the rest of the trust’s children’s services.
Gateshead Health NHS Trust
In Gateshead, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, after new mental health services for the elderly opened, next on the agenda is the trust’s hope to rebuild its maternity ward on the site of the hospital. At present, a “strategic framework” is being prepared for the project, which would see the creation of a state-of-the-art, multi-million pound facility.
Beyond that, the trust has been working on a project to renovate and redevelop existing wards – and work is also underway on a new 14-bed orthopedic ward on the top floor of the hospital’s surgery centre. Additionally, hospital bosses are spending £1.8million on a decarbonisation plan which involves installing solar panels and air-source heat pumps on site, which will drastically reduce the trust’s carbon footprint.
Further afield, a bid has been put in place to access £90million of government funding for new services and a new critical care and diagnostic center at Sheriff Hill Hospital.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust
Across Northumbria and North Tyneside, a series of plans are underway as part of huge strategic investments in facilities. Late last year the trust revealed a £326million masterplan which will see upgrades to Berwick sites in Rake Lane.
There will be new maternity and endoscopy units in Hexham, as well as refurbishments at Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington and North Tyneside General. These will see hospitals remain ‘centres of surgical excellence’ and the aim is to ensure that patient care remains the best.
So far work has started in Ashington and North Shields – this will see wards refurbished and the creation of additional single rooms for patients. The £30million rebuild of Berwick Infirmary is also continuing apace as the trust continues to provide facilities to better serve its vast – and incredibly rural – patch.
At Northumbria Specialist Urgent Care Hospital in Cramlington, the trust is drawing up plans for a £25million health and education center as well as an £8million centralized facility which will sterilize the ‘medical equipement.
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust
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This notice was published: 2022-04-18 07:00:00