Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Council Chiefs Give Backing to Hospital; Plans Approved despite 300 Name Petition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Council Chiefs Give Backing to Hospital; Plans Approved despite 300 Name Petition

Article excerpt

Byline: Alastair Craig

PATIENTS will benefit from a new pounds 75m hospital in Northumberland from 2014 after plans were approved last night by council chiefs.

Proposals for the emergency care centre in Cramlington sparked objections from local residents, airport bosses and rival health trusts when they were revealed.

But Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust is convinced the new centre - off the A19 spine road - will improve patient care with A&E consultants on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The multi-million pound scheme was backed at a meeting of Northumberland County Council's planning committee.

The decision means that construction will start in the spring, but the scheme will have to win final approval from the Civil Aviation Authority and the Secretary of State.

Hospital bosses say the move, part of pounds 200m wider health plans, will bring lasting improvements to Northumberland and Tyneside.

The state-of-the-art hospital will be the first in England to have emergency care consultants on site all hours of the day, every day of the year.

Specialists from all the main clinical conditions will be on duty during the day and evening and on-call out of hours.

The proposals were not without controversy as residents living near the development site raised concerns about increased traffic and the noise from ambulance sirens.

Adrian Regional One objector speaking at last night's meeting said: "People will die in the back of ambulances" because of bottlenecks on "already next care approvaldespite from If up south miles Newcastle. future Airport,located congested roads". And bosses at Newcastle Airport said before the council meeting that concerns remained over the decision to place a new hospital under a flight path.

The objections raised were based on noise, safety of air ambulance operations and potential for the hospital to get in the way of the future growth of the airport. …

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