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


Home > News > West Cumberland Hospital offering more operations

West Cumberland Hospital offering more operations

Posted on Wednesday 10th February 2016
theatres team wch

The number of patients having surgery at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven has increased by 25% so far this year and plans are in place to move even more procedures to the new £90m hospital.

Between April and December 2015, nearly 10,000 people had either day case or planned inpatient surgery at West Cumberland Hospital. The new hospital which opened in October 2015, includes a surgical floor that is enabling North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust to look at expanding services further.

The new surgical floor has seven main operating theatres and is home to a 20 place Day Case unit as well as a Central Recovery Area and 32 single en-suite patient rooms.

Breast surgery and thyroid surgery moved over to West Cumberland Hospital last year and the breast service is continuing to expand with new imaging equipment currently on order. The hospital already has digital mammography equipment but the new kit will enable biopsies to be carried out and guide wires to be inserted pre-surgery which is currently only available at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

In addition, a therapist is undertaking training to enable Orthodontic treatment and assessment clinics to be held at the West Cumberland Hospital. The Trust is seeing a high demand for the service therefore has decided to equip an additional dental room in the new hospital.

The Trust’s ENT (ears, nose & throat) service is also currently planning to move surgery to West Cumbria and the increase in orthopaedics and gynaecology procedures is continuing.

In 2013, The Trust centralised high risk emergency surgery at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle which has resulted in better outcomes for patients across the region in line with best practice guidelines. However, the Trust is also committed to ensuring as many procedures as possible are carried out at West Cumberland Hospital and will continue to review this as part of the clinical strategy work with health partners in the Success Regime.

Nick McDonaugh, deputy business unit director for surgery at the Trust, said: “We are absolutely committed to fully utilising the fantastic surgical facilities we have at West Cumberland Hospital. Our consultants are all very much on board with the moves we are making and want to work across both of our hospitals in order to provide patients with as much care locally as we can.”