[M]uch needed work has finally commenced on the Millom Hospital site to create an integrated health hub with better clinical, GP and ambulance facilities, along with improved parking and access arrangements.
The Millom Alliance was awarded funding from NHS England Primary Care Infrastructure Fund back in 2015 and following a lot of planning with multiple partners, work is now underway.
The monies will be used to modernise the existing buildings and to provide a further extension. The works will offer upgraded ambulance areas including dedicated access, more GP consultation rooms and shared learning spaces. The outdated waiting areas and physiotherapy suite will be refurbished. External works will improve parking, access and landscaping. Millom Hospital Site will then offer an increased range of healthcare facilities.
Dr Richard Walker GP at Waterloo House GP Surgery said “After many years of hard work by all involved, the new development will secure health care provision in premises fit for the 21st century. It will allow us to prepare for the challenges facing the NHS over the coming years, as well as aid our recruitment issues. We hope over the coming months to develop the site to incorporate the GP surgery, ambulance services, community and hospital staff working together in a collaborative way to continue the work of the Millom Alliance.”
The support and input from the community of Millom has played a significant role in helping to secure the funding. Jenny Brumby from Millom Health Action Group said “The Health Action Group would like to thank the community for their patience and perseverance over the past 3 years. Our group feels this would never have been possible if they hadn’t come forward and help make health decisions for our town. Our community trusted our group to make decisions on their behalf and we hope our involvement into the planning of the new surgery extension is welcomed. This will be a fantastic new facility and we look forward to seeing the doors open to the public next year”.
Dr John Howarth, Professor of Primary Care UCLan said, “A significant factor in securing the funding was the unfailing support, contribution and unstoppable community of Millom. The health action group, the local staff and health professionals have all played a vital role in securing the funding to improve their local facilities and healthcare provision as a whole. We look forward to working with the community as we carry out the works which is expected to continue until the summer of 2018. There will be some disruption on the site as the works take place and we are grateful for the patience of the community while this takes place.”
Dr Paul Grout, Deputy Medical Director, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is going to be a fabulous new facility for the people of Millom which will bring them into line with modern GP practices.”
Alison Redshaw, Practice Manager said “We are extremely pleased to see work commence on the extension to the GP Practice. The Doctors, staff and patients have waited a long time and this new building will enable us to continue to deliver services into the future in a modern purpose built facility.”
Felicity Wilson, Chair Patient Participation Group said “As Chair of Waterloo House PPG I am delighted that work is forging ahead with the transition plans at Waterloo House Surgery. The community has given magnificent support from the early days when there was a fear that our local hospital could be under threat. Representatives have given thoughtful input into what health care they would like to see delivered closer to home. The staff of Waterloo House have continued to deliver first class services to our community despite the sometimes cramped / difficult conditions. The staff and community may have to adapt to some interim changes but I feel our new surgery will be what we have all hoped for”.
The Millom Hospital site required extensive renovations and final planning permission was approved in December 2016. The work is expected to take place until end of summer 2018. Mellor Architects from Kendal have worked with partners in this development.