Berwick health plans take step forward
08 Nov 2017
Councillors and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have come together to feed local insights into the plans to build a new healthcare facility in Berwick.
Furthermore, the remit of the Berwick regeneration commission has been expanded to include health.
The new commission is made up of three Northumberland county councillors, three Berwick town councillors, the county council’s cabinet member for economic development and three governors from Northumbria Healthcare. Governors represent the views of residents and staff and help to build links with the trust’s local communities.
The purpose of the commission, which met for the first time on Monday 6 November, is to make sure the plans are ‘future-proofed’ and meet the needs of the local population for years to come.
Also under consideration is how to best ensure that the plans contribute to the wider regeneration of the town and that the development integrates with other services such as social care or leisure and recreation.
Findings from the commission will be fed into the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) working group which is ensuring that the plans are fit for purpose, sustainable and focussed on keeping people healthy and well.
Health leaders have also used the inaugural meeting of the commission to reaffirm their commitment to a new fit-for-purpose healthcare facility for Berwick and assured residents that funding remains in place.
Daljit Lally, executive director of delivery at Northumbria Healthcare and chief executive at the county council, said: “Health provision is integral to the future wellbeing and prosperity of every community in Northumberland and it’s only right that, with such a major development planned for Berwick, the proposals are looked at in detail in the wider context of regeneration.
“With ever-increasing pressures on resources, it’s never been more important to make sure that all public services are fully joined up and this commission will play a vital role ensuring that the new healthcare facility is as integrated as possible.”
In a joint statement, the three Berwick county councillors - Georgina Hill, Gregah Roughhead and Catherine Seymour - said: “We know that residents in Berwick desperately want to see progress on a new healthcare facility for the community.
“We need to make sure it is future-proofed and will cater for generations to come.
“We look forward to working with governors at Northumbria Healthcare to ensure delivery and best outcome for the people of Berwick.”
Dr Alistair Blair, clinical chair at NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “We hope people in Berwick - who we know are very keen to see progress being made - will see this news as a welcome step forward.
“We have a duty to our communities to make sure any plans, particularly ones of this significance, are fully thought-through and every opportunity is explored to not only integrate health and care services but involve other services.
“This is all part of work taking place in Northumberland to further integrate care for people – and we must remember we are already more advanced in this field than many parts of the country – and do all we can support them to lead healthier lives.”