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12.02.19

Major redevelopment of Newcastle General Hospital unveiled as university buys land from NHS trust

Ambitious plans to redevelop the former General Hospital have been unveiled by Newcastle University after it bought the hospital site from owners Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The vision would see the 29-acre site expanded into a mixed-use development with research and elderly facilities aimed at addressing the challenge of an ageing population and significantly developing the site’s research potential.

Newcastle University has bought the General Hospital from the hospital trust for around £7.5m, and the development is being led by the university in collaboration with Newcastle Hospitals and the city council.

Redevelopment-site---Grid

The future of the General Hospital site has been uncertain despite being “an iconic site at the heart of Newcastle healthcare for decades,” and the trust’s CEO Jackie Daniel said the move would ensure local people will continue to benefit from world-class care, health research and innovations within the NHS.

The vision sets out plans to develop three zones of the site, proposing an “iconic” Discovery Crucible to the north which will house laboratories and cutting-edge clinics allowing patients to be seen by experts across all disciplines and provide teams with unique research and learning opportunities outside their field.

The central zone will encompass a ‘spectrum of independence’ which would provide a range of care for older patients and a centre of excellence for dementia care – following a Dutch model of a dementia-care village.

Chris Day, the vice-chancellor and president at Newcastle University said: “this is an exciting and ambitious vision which looks to the next 10 to 15 years to ensure that we are a world-leading hot bed of innovation and creative research in the field of ageing” – making use of the university’s unique position.

The southern zone will house a residential zone for business developments, but the existing Westgate Walk-in-Centre, a nurse-led unit for patients with minor injuries and illnesses and part of Newcastle Hospitals will remain in place.

It has also been agreed that the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS FT will continue to offer mental health in-patient facilities on the site.

The city council chief executive, Pat Richie, commented: “The proposed development on the former General Hospital site is a further progression of that close relationship in partnership with the Hospitals Trust which demonstrates our shared commitment to be at the forefront of innovation, creating safe environments with an integrated multi-agency approach to health and wellbeing to meet the needs of an ageing population.”

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