[F]ollowing North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust’s announcement in July regarding plans for the next phase of the West Cumberland Hospital redevelopment; the Trust is about to sign off the design plans for some services with construction due to begin within one of the retained blocks of the existing hospital at the end of this year.
The current phase involves the refurbishment of part of the vacated hospital to accommodate Breast Screening, Cardiology outpatients, Vascular Laboratory and the Mortuary. The planning for floor layouts for the departments have been led by the clinical teams and will now be finalised by the Project Team with architects, engineers and technical specialists. In addition, Copeland Disability Forum will be invited to review the designs to ensure they meet the needs of potential service users.
Breast Screening will be situated at the front of the previous Children’s ward, with easy access to the main entrance and Cardiology outpatients and the Vascular Laboratory will occupy the back of the ward area which will be accessed via the new hospital. This will give the Cardiology staff good access between the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and the outpatients department.
The new Mortuary will be discreetly located on level 2 of the hospital with public access via external doors at the back of the hospital.
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. The Team are also looking at further services such as the Renal unit and Maternity ward.
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 upcoming public consultation regarding a system-wide clinical strategy for West, North & East Cumbria. The options for this phase may also be influenced by the current efforts with health partners 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 pleased that plans are now progressing quickly for the next stage of the redevelopment. Bringing further clinical departments into the new building is a priority for the Trust and we look forward to the completion of the next phase. We are very much committed to providing even more care from West Cumberland Hospital.”