Serving up mining heritage in restaurant

Mining heritage is being served up in a new-look restaurant.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery opened the new look establishment at Wansbeck General Hospital, which celebrates the area’s mining heritage.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has refurbished the restaurant – named Woodhorn Restaurant – to provide a modern, bright space for members of the public, patients, visitors and staff.

Prints from the acclaimed ‘Pitmen Painters’ are on display in the first-floor facility, which is open every day from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Mr Lavery, a former miner, said: “I am delighted to open the refurbished restaurant.

“It’s so important to have somewhere in a hospital where people can come to spend time away from a busy ward or clinic whether they are a patient, visiting someone in hospital, accompanying a friend or relative to an appointment, or even a member of the public.

“Mining has such a strong connection to this area and I am so pleased that our heritage is being remembered and showcased in this way.”

The name was thought up by employees Arlene Pattem, community infection control nurse, and Susan Baxter, operational services manager for surgery, during a competition organised by the trust.

Owen Cusack, deputy director of estates and facilities at the trust, said: “It is fitting that we celebrate our mining heritage through art which we use extensively to improve our hospital environment for everybody.”

He added: “Our restaurants are very important to our hospitals and as part of our continuous investment we are keen to make them as welcoming as possible.

“As a trust, we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our staff, patients and visitors and making available more healthy options in our restaurants as part of providing a wide choice of high quality drinks and food.”