Treasury’s green light for hospital
Last updated at 11:22, Thursday, 02 August 2012
WEST Cumberland Hospital’s £90million redevelopment has finally been approved by the Treasury – but community leaders are still warning there must be no further downgrading of services.
This week’s news is seen as a major milestone and means the bulk of the hospital’s funding can now start to be released.
The £71.6 million government cash is the final hurdle in a lengthy process involving approval by regional health bosses and the Department of Health.
In giving its approval, the Treasury has attached a condition that the final contract for the multi-million project (with Laing O’Rourke) must be signed within three months.
The bid to provide a new hospital for West Cumbria began over three years ago, in March 2009.
A new A&E unit that is accessible by helicopter and access to key departments such as critical care and the medical assessment unit
A single operating theatre suite close to ward areas instead of theatres dispersed at various locations around the hospital
New wards overlooking views
Mostly ensuite single rooms
Refurbishment of the women’s and children’s unit
Demolishing deficient buildings to make space for improved parking facilities
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said it was an important milestone, but warned: “We must ensure no reduction in services at the new hospital. The West Cumberland Hospital has done all of the heavy lifting asked of it in the reorganisation of the local health economy – no more can be done – and we should now be able to look forward to the project being completed.
“That said, there will be no celebrations until the hospital is built and operational and the whole community will remain vigilant until this happens.”
John Bannister, Save Our Services spokesman, said he was relieved at the news but also urged vigilance.
“The delays this process has been subject to has severely affected the confidence of the community,” he said. “I do think the critical thing is seeing the contractors on site as soon as possible, we cannot be complacent about this until the building goes up, we still need vigilance.”
He added: “I won’t allow the new hospital build to become a distraction, our (Save Our Services’) priority is to ensure we don’t lose further services and that there’s no further downgrading of the hospital.”
The remaining £20 million for the project has been provided by North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and regional health bosses. The funding is over a three-year programme of investment.
Dr Neil Goodwin, outgoing interim chief executive of the Trust, said: “This is excellent news for West Cumbria and we are delighted that the most significant part of the funding for the hospital redevelopment has been approved by HM Treasury. £91.6 million is the biggest single investment into the healthcare of West Cumbria for over 50 years.
“We are only one of three hospital trusts nationally to secure capital funding for a rebuilding project in the National Health Service.”
Medical director Mike Walker added: “A new hospital for West Cumbria has been long awaited. The redevelopment will create a gold standard healthcare facility that will be fit for the 21st century and offer a first class environment from which our staff can deliver modern high quality care to the local population.”
First published at 11:05, Thursday, 02 August 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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An acquaintance has told me his appointment at Carlisle hospital has been scheduled for 9am. He has to travel from Whitehaven and negotiate the abysmal local bus 'service'. One way of would-be patients cancelling appointments at Carlisle, travelling from Whitehaven, is to appoint early in the morning, the threat being that if they can't keep their appointment at the appointed time is that their re-appointment will be at a time in the future of an indeterminate time. NHS saving money comes in more forms than the obvious. Yes, abysmal for the second time.
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