Having secured Berwick a new £35 million infirmary, you can be certain I’m keeping a very close eye out to ensure the delivery of our state-of-the-art hospital as planned.
I was on site to see the commencement of works back in 2020, so it was fantastic to be there again as the foundations were laid last year. The steel frame is now well underway, and demolition of the old inpatient ward begins next week, so I’ll be visiting again very soon to see the progress.
You may have seen my updates, including on the temporary inpatient ward, opened mid-November, to ensure patients can remain on site throughout, which both patients and staff have been reacting positively to.
Or my update from Merit’s factory, where over 650 modules for the hospital are being pre-assembled offsite. This exciting, modern solution to healthcare means our hospital can be ready one year earlier than traditional building methods would allow.
Be assured that I’ll continue to push this all the way to its delivery – due to open in mid-2025 – support our local NHS to do so, and update you along the way.
Elsewhere in our constituency, there’s new things coming too. It’s fab news for Felton, where a new GP surgery has been in the works and, late last year, the planning application was formally submitted. With plans to be operational by summer 2025, its energy efficient design will provide local residents with five consultation rooms, a dispensing area, and 20 parking spaces, plus space for an ambulance.
Our NHS is not just about infrastructure though, staff are key too. I’m proud the Government recently hit our manifesto commitment to recruit an additional 50,000 nurses – six months early! – including over 7,000 more nurses in the North East and Yorkshire. Rewarding their dedication and hard work with a five per cent pay-rise this year.
All this means that waiting lists were cut by nearly 100,000 patients in November, as we continue to tackle the NHS backlog. While many hospitals have been extremely busy over the last couple of weeks – ambulance response times and A&E performance has been better than this time last year, showing that the work we have done to be ready for winter has made a difference.