CONSTRUCTION work has been completed on a new multi-million pound health centre in Morpeth.
A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held to mark the completion of the building structure of the £18m flagship centre, which will house two of the town’s GP practices.
The centre – to include physiotherapy and outpatient appointments and some services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – is on the site of the former Mount care home at Haggs Field.
Morpeth NHS Centre, due to open to patients from early 2013, will also include GP and primary care health services as well as diagnostic testing such as x-rays and ultra sound scans to reduce the need for people to go to hospital.
The two GP practices moving to the new centre are Greystoke and Gas House Lane.
There will also be provision for working with the town’s third GP practice, Wellway.
Northumberland County Council chairman, Coun Jim Smith, performed the ‘topping out’ ceremony and laid the final slab of concrete to the structure.
He said: “The new Morpeth health centre will include excellent facilities for Gas House Lane and Greystoke GP surgeries, together with other health services.
“Having this variety of facilities under one roof is a huge benefit to the local community.”
John Walton, a member of Greystoke’s surgery patient participation group, said: “It’s great news that the building is so close to the centre of Morpeth.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the building when it’s finished.”
Dr Alistair Blair, a GP at Morpeth’s Wellway Health Centre, added: “The building structure looks great and the modern centre will ensure the people of Morpeth and the surrounding areas are provided for over the next 25 years.”
The new building is designed with energy efficiency and carbon reduction in mind and aims to reduce CO² output and energy consumption.
Fred Smith, project manager at constructors Laing O’Rourke, said: “The occasion gives local residents and staff the opportunity to see how the health centre is materialising; giving them an insight into the design of what will essentially be their health centre for years to come.”