Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland and Sue Hayman, MP for Workington, visited West Cumberland Hospital (WCH) in Whitehaven yesterday (Monday 29 July) to officially open the new breast, cardiology and vascular units.
The units have been open to patients since May 2019 and are part of the ongoing redevelopment work at the hospital. The event yesterday included presentations from staff working in the three departments detailing how the new facilities have improved their services as well as plans for the future.
Dr Vince Connolly, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, attended the event and said: “It was great to officially mark the opening of the new units yesterday and to see that the redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital is continuing to improve services through creating modern facilities to deliver the services from.
“I was also delighted to see the fundraisers for the breast unit in attendance and on behalf of the Trust; I would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment and generosity.”
The Think Pink fundraising group attended who have been raising funds for the breast department at WCH for over 10 years in memory of their relative and friend, Karen Ritson. Louise Bell from Think Pink revealed that the group has raised £83,600 to date which has enabled the department to purchase an ultrasound machine in 2016 and a tomosynthesis/3D mammography machine earlier this year. The group hosts an annual ‘chick flick’ fundraising event during breast cancer awareness month in October and this year they are hosting a ‘Greatest Showman’ night on 5 October (further information is available via their Facebook page).
The Breast department also welcomed members of the Workington Derwent Inner Wheel club who donated £400 which they have raised through hosting various events and 30 cushions for women undergoing treatment.
The opening of the three units marks the completion of phase 1b of the extensive redevelopment work taking place at West Cumberland Hospital. The £90m phase 1 was completed in October 2015 with the opening of the new hospital building.
Outline business cases are currently in development for further phases of the redevelopment work at West Cumberland Hospital including the demolition of the old hospital buildings and plans to provide more accommodation and academic facilities in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).