Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust breaks ground on Health and Care Academy
Image: P+HS Architects
Construction work has started on Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s £32m health and education centre of excellence.
A ground-breaking ceremony was recently held for the Northumbria Health and Care Academy, which is being built on the site of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.
It is hoped the new centre will open in autumn 2023.
The 8,000sq m development, which received planning approval in late 2021, will feature a training centre of excellence for nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, conference facilities, office space, and meeting rooms.
And the ground floor will be occupied by Brockwell Medical Group, which recently received permission to relocate its GP practice from its current site two miles away.
A drive-through coffee shop and wellbeing walking trail are also included in the scheme.
The new facility will be a key part of the trust’s strategy to support the ongoing training and career development of its staff, so that they can continue to provide high-quality care to patients.
Marion Dickson, Northumbria Healthcare’s executive director for nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals, said: “I am delighted that construction is now underway on our Health and Care Academy, because it really demonstrates our commitment to looking after our people and helping them to develop and grow, both professionally and personally.
“Recruitment and retention are ongoing challenges for the NHS and the centre of excellence will help us to develop the workforce of the future. In this way, it showcases how we are trying to lead from the front on a regional and national level in healthcare provision.
“In addition, the academy highlights our efforts to drive wider social, educational, and economic benefits in our communities.”
The trust’s development partner on this innovative and pioneering project is Assura.
Senior development director for the project, Andy Cooper, said: “As a hub for training of both current staff and the next generation of healthcare professionals in the region, we’re standing on the site which will be a key connector between the busy working hospital and the learning and development which underpins the future of care.”
Chris Cant, chief executive of Metnor Construction, which is carrying out the construction work, added: “Metnor Construction is delighted and proud to have secured the contract award for such a prestigious scheme serving our own local community and working to provide a legacy alongside our wonderful NHS which will have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing for years to come.”