[F]ollowing the opening of the £90m new West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven in October 2015, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is now moving forward with plans for the remainder of the redevelopment work.
Plans for what is known as ‘phase two’ of the redevelopment were halted last year when the estimated costs to fulfil the work increased beyond what was approved in the Outline Business Case. A range of options have been considered that will allow the further consolidation of clinical services currently remaining in the old building.
The first stage is to refurbish part of the vacated hospital mostly during spring 2017 to accommodate breast screening, cardiology, mortuary, renal, maternity ward and a vascular laboratory. The design work is already well underway for this stage and, in addition, a demolition programme is being scheduled in order to create the new main entrance by summer 2018. This will involve the demolition of the old buildings currently blocking the view of the new building from Homewood Road.
Following this work, services remaining in the old building will include stroke rehabilitation, elderly care, chemotherapy, therapies, office space and a range of clinical support services. A plan is currently being worked up for this final phase, taking into consideration the outcomes of the public consultation set to take place later this year regarding a system-wide clinical strategy for West, North & East Cumbria. The options for this phase may also be influenced by the current efforts as part of the Success Regime work to enhance access to services in the community. A revised Outline Business Case will be submitted in 2017/18 once the scope has been confirmed. A Full Business Case would then quickly follow to allow the full completion of the redevelopment.
Stephen Eames, chief executive at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am extremely pleased to be progressing plans for the remainder of the West Cumberland Hospital redevelopment. The £90m building that opened almost 10 months ago is very impressive and we look forward to the completion of the site.
“My aim is to ensure that any further investment is focussed on making a long and lasting impact on the provision of healthcare services in West Cumbria and across the county.”