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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Chief Executive praises commitment and support from West Cumberland Hospital staff

Chief Executive praises commitment and support from West Cumberland Hospital staff

Posted on Tuesday 27th January 2015
wch fire 2

Following a fire which broke out on Friday evening which destroyed the energy centre in the new West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, Ann Farrar, the Trust’s chief executive, has paid tribute to staff and the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.   

The fire occurred at 10.45pm on Friday 23 January and was quickly brought under control by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service – there were no injuries. No patients were affected by the fire and all services are continuing to run as normal.

Staff rallied round as soon as the fire started with estates & facilities staff working around the clock to ensure that patients and staff were safe and both the new and old hospital buildings were secure. Staff volunteered to come in from home if needed and clinical staff ensured they stayed focussed on delivering patient care at all times.

Ann Farrar, chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“I would like to thank our staff for the outstanding commitment they have shown over the past few days. I spent Saturday going round West Cumberland Hospital to talk to staff and whilst everybody was understandably upset, they were all also wonderfully determined that the future is still very bright for the hospital.

“I would also like to thank the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service for their quick action on Friday night to ensure the fire was controlled as quickly as possible.”

The incident will cause a knock on effect for the move in date of services to the new building which was planned for April this year which has come as devastating news to the Trust, to staff and the new hospital project team who were gearing up for a formal handover of keys today. It is still unclear at this stage, how the fire broke out or how long the energy centre will take to repair. Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will begin an investigation today alongside independent investigators and the Trust will keep everybody updated.