Ceremony marks centre milestone

A 'topping out' ceremony has been held to celebrate the completion of the building structure of Morpeth's new �18m flagship health centre which will house two of the town's GP practices after investment from NHS North of Tyne. Councillor Jim Smith, chairman of Northumberland County Council, performed the 'topping out' ceremony and laid the final slab of concrete to the structure.
A 'topping out' ceremony has been held to celebrate the completion of the building structure of Morpeth's new �18m flagship health centre which will house two of the town's GP practices after investment from NHS North of Tyne. Councillor Jim Smith, chairman of Northumberland County Council, performed the 'topping out' ceremony and laid the final slab of concrete to the structure.

THE final stage is under way to develop a new £18m Morpeth health centre after the completion of structural work.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held at the Haggs Field site last week to mark the milestone as Northumberland County Council Chairman Jim Smith laid the final slab of concrete to the building.

Morpeth NHS Centre, which is due to open early next year, will provide a range of services, including physiotherapy and outpatient appointments, diagnostic testing, x-rays and ultra-sound scans, as well as housing the Greystroke and Gas House Lane GP practices.

In addition there will be integrated working with the Wellway surgery.

County Council Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing Ian Lindley said: “This is an exciting development in health services.

“The health centre will provide high quality healthcare and the modern equipment will help GPs to do diagnostic testing in the surgery, which will save people from having to travel.”

The centre has been built following public consultation in 2007 about the health services people would like to see in the town to replace Morpeth Cottage Hospital, and the plans were approved by NHS North East last year.

Morpeth GP Dr Alistair Blair, who is Chairman of the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group that will be responsible in planning and purchasing NHS services for patients in the area, said: “The building structure looks great and the modern centre will ensure that the people of Morpeth and the surrounding areas are provided for over the next 25 years.”

The project includes investment from NHS North of Tyne and will offer services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The building has been designed with energy efficiency and carbon reduction in mind.