HEALTH bosses have awarded the contract to build a new state-of-the-art emergency care hospital near Cramlington to Lend Lease.
The international construction company will begin work on the site, off the Moor Farm roundabout junction of the A189 and A19, later this year.
The new £70m hospital is expected to take around two years to build.
It will be the first in the county to have specialists working around the clock to ensure seriously ill or injured patients get treatment quicker.
Nearby residents had objected to the hospital proposals saying it would put the nearby general hospitals at Ashington and North Shields under threat of closure and increase congestion on nearby roads.
Plans submitted by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust were approved by Northumberland County Council earlier this year, however.
The new hospital will deal with 999 call and GPs’ emergency admissions in seven wards containing 210 beds providing specialist care for a range of conditions.
An intensive care unit will provide specialist critical care for up to 18 patients.
There will be six operating theatres and a consultant-led maternity unit and special care baby unit, as well as a children’s assessment unit kitted out with MRI and CT scanners.
Trust chief executive Jim Mackey said: “This is a massive step forward in our plans to improve healthcare.
“Our clinicians wanted to provide the best possible standards of care for our patients, and their forward thinking will mean a better chance of survival and better recovery for our sickest and most seriously injured patients.”
Gordon Anderson, executive general manager for Lend Lease, said: “This is one of the largest construction projects in the north east at the moment, and we are excited to be involved in the construction of this building.
“The project recognises our commitment to the building of community facilities for the people of the region.”