Â£5m South Tyneside Hospital project is sign for the future
Health bosses say a Â£5m project at South Tyneside Hospital demonstrates their commitment to the site's future.
Work has begun on a new energy centre at South Tyneside District Hospital, which Trust bosses say, will ensure the hospital can continue to serve future generations for many decades to come.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust say the investment in the state-of-the-art energy system is another demonstration of its commitment to investing in the hospital site.
The development involves building a new boiler house and the introduction of a combined heat and power unit, which will offer more efficient and effective use of valuable energy resources and help reduce the Trust’s carbon emissions.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Ken Bremner said: “This development marks significant investment by the Trust in the hospital and demonstrates our total commitment to providing services for local people in South Tyneside and improving the working environment for our staff.
“Despite the very difficult financial challenges we are currently facing, it shows that people should be in absolutely no doubt about our future ambitions for South Tyneside District Hospital.”
The future of the site has been the centre of a heated debate in recent months because of a proposed shake up of how health services will be delivered in the borough in future.
Some services could be moved to Sunderland Royal Hospital and opponents fear the plan could lead to the downgrading or even closure of the hospital, in Harton Lane, South Shield.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Save Our Hospital group wished to make no comment on the project.
Combined heat and power makes use of heat that is a by-product of the electricity generation process, reducing energy consumption and costs and improving environmental performance.
The waste heat from the CHP unit at South Tyneside Hospital will be in the form of low-grade hot water which will be used in heating.
The new energy centre will be situated on the McAnany Avenue side of the hospital site in South Shields.
The development is the latest example of investment in the South Tyneside District Hospital site.
Last year, a new £1.5 million MRI scanner - the first of its kind in the UK – became operational.
In the past two years, the Trust has also opened Haven Court, a £9 million centre of excellence for integrated health and social care for older people, and a new £1.4 million Surgical Centre, which has improved patient experience and access to surgical services.