South Tyneside’s state-of-the-art centre for older people is taking shape.

The rapidly emerging steel structure for the integrated health and social care hub in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital is changing the face of Harton Lane, South Shields.

Since the development began in May this year, the contractor, Robertson Construction, has completed 75% of the foundation work, with the pouring of 500 cubic metres of concrete. The steelwork began on target at the end of June and is expected to take about six weeks. The building’s shell should be finished in the autumn.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is building the £9 million centre on behalf of South Tyneside Council, which views it as a major part of its response to the borough’s ageing population and increasing numbers of people with dementia.

Trust Chief Operating Officer Steve Williamson said: “We are very pleased indeed with the progress being made on the development of the integrated care services hub, which will greatly enhance the quality of care for older people, and it is really exciting to see how the building is taking shape day by day.

“We and our partners, including the Council and key health, social care and voluntary sector agencies such as Age UK South Tyneside, are determined to ensure that this centre of excellence for joined-up care delivers fantastic services when it opens in 2016, providing local people with a tremendous asset of which everyone can be truly proud.”

Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Support Services at South Tyneside Council, Councillor Mary Butler, said: “It is fantastic to see this facility taking shape and the Council’s long-term vision for dementia care becoming a reality in front of our eyes.

“This state-of-the-art centre will provide a focal point where older people and their families and carers will be able to receive all the support and advice they need under one roof. This, in turn, will allow us to offer better and more co-ordinated services for our older people – particularly those with dementia – as well as their carers and families.”