A STATE of the art care campus which will look after soldiers and civilians under one roof has moved a crucial stage further with financial backing.

Catterick Integrated Care Campus is a new approach that would see the Garrison's thousands of military personnel treated alongside local people from across Richmondshire.

It has been under consideration for seven years and now the NHS and the Ministry of Defence say it' s been given financial approval.

The aim is to deliver GP and primary care as well as a range of additional services such as mental health, maternity, sexual health, drug and alcohol and social care. The centre will treat everyone regardless of whether they wear a uniform or not.

The MoD say it is envisaged the new care campus will open to its first visitors late in 2023 and Tilbury Douglas have been appointed to deliver the design and build phase of the project.

NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Accountable Officer, Amanda Bloor, said: "It is great news that this innovative project moves closer to becoming a reality. We look forward to working with the MOD and other partners over the coming weeks and months to support the development of this state-of-the-art healthcare facility which will provide high quality services to both MOD personnel and the wider population of Richmondshire."

Clinical lead for the project, Dr Mark Hodgson, added: "This will be a wonderful facility for patients in Catterick and the wider Richmondshire area. It's terrific to see the progress that's being made. The new care campus will ensure the NHS and MOD can meet the health needs of the population now and for many years to come."

Director Healthcare, Headquarters Defence Medical Services, Major General Cain, said: "It is fantastic that, in partnership with the NHS, we will deliver a new facility and a new way of working.

"This will allow all healthcare professionals to come together and deliver the absolute best care possible for our patients."

He said the aim is to help people to help themselves to better health and wellbeing whilst providing the safety net of more formal health and social care when people need it.

The Garrison is currently home to over 13,000 soldiers and their families and is the biggest base in Britain. Thousands more soldiers are expected over the next decade as part of plans to turn Catterick into a Super Garrison, although the army has not revealed if this will be affected by moves to reduce the strength of the army from 76,500 troops to 72,500 by 2025.

New family accommodation, offices, garages, and sports and leisure facilities are also in the pipeline for the base.

The Army and NHS say as the care hub plans progress members of the public will be able to get involved and have their say on the development.