Work has started on a new £9m care centre for older people in South Tyneside.
Preparations have been under way for weeks on the integrated care services hub being built in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields, but work on the project is now beginning in earnest.
The hub is expected to be the biggest of its kind in the UK when it is opened next year.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is building it on behalf of South Tyneside Council as a major part of its response to the borough’s ageing population and increasing numbers of people with dementia.
Lorraine Lambert, the trust’s chief executive, said: “The hub is an extremely exciting development, and we are privileged to have been given this opportunity to provide the borough with what I am certain will be a fantastic asset.
“Already, it is attracting interest from health and social care experts across the UK.”
The hub, once complete, will have 80 beds, with about 30 people expected to live on the Harton Lane site.