Posted on Thursday 19th January 2012
An artist's impression of the new entrance
The Trust Board of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust this week approved a further £500,000 spend to maintain the momentum in creating a modern, flexible and state-of-the-art new hospital facility for the people of West Cumbria.
The Full Business Case is awaiting a letter of support from the Board of NHS Cumbria after which it can progress to the final approval process regionally and nationally.
The redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital will be the single biggest capital investment in healthcare in West Cumbria. It will create a new hospital that will be fit for the 21st century. Based on the current timetable the Trust Board anticipates that building the new hospital should commence in July.
The redevelopment, which will cost £90 million in total, has been supported by the Government as one of three significant publically-funded capital builds in the National Health Service which were announced by the Chancellor in October 2010.
The Government has agreed to contribute £70 million to the project; the Strategic Health Authority is providing £10 million and the Trust contributing £10 million from its own capital allocations.
The bid to provide a new hospital for West Cumbria began in March 2009. Demolition work started in January 2010 and many of the old buildings have now been cleared on the site and facilities relocated in buildings that will be retained and eventually be refurbished.
Work continues on the upgrading of J block to relocate mental health facilities on the site which will allow for the last remaining building to be demolished (Yewdale Ward) which will make way for the new building to be reconstructed. This is on programme for completion in May and patients will relocate into the new facility in June.
The redevelopment will be in two phases. The first phase will involve the construction of a brand new building which will provide new theatres, wards, the emergency floor, critical care, family services, radiology, pathology, pharmacy and other clinical and non-clinical support services.
The second phase of the redevelopment will involve the refurbishment of areas of the existing buildings which are being retained for clinical use and those buildings no longer required will be demolished.
In reaching its decision to develop a new healthcare facility in West Cumbria, the Trust Board took into account three requirements, which were:
1. To deliver a new healthcare facility in West Cumbria providing the services mapped out in NHS Cumbria’s Closer to Home Strategy
2. To provide a healthcare facility to modernise, improve and deliver care to all patients in West Cumbria
3. To move the development forward as quickly as possible having secured capital funding
Dr Neil Goodwin, Interim Chief Executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The Trust Board remains firmly committed to the redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital, which it sees as absolutely essential for the people of West Cumbria.
“The Board remains concerned about ongoing delays to securing approval, which it wants to see secured as soon as possible. As well as securing essential acute hospital services for the people of West Cumbria, the development will also save the North Cumbria health system £2 million per year in running costs because existing services - which will continue to be provided - will move into brand new, purpose built, state-of-the-art hospital accommodation. ”