FINANCE: The Treasury has approved capital funding of £71.6m to allow the trust to redevelop its West Cumberland Hospital, North Cumbria University Hospitals reported yesterday.

The remaining £20m needed for the project will be provided by the trust and the North of England strategic health authority cluster “over a three year rolling programme of investment”, the trust said in a statement.

Treasury approval was “the last hurdle in the process which has included the development of a full business case which also required approval by the strategic health authority and the Department of Health,” it continued. The approval is conditional on the final contract for the redevelopment being signed within three months.

HM Treasury have attached a condition to the funding that the final contract for the redevelopment must be signed within three months.

It added that the redevelopment includes plans for:

  • A new modern A&E unit that is accessible by helicopter and access to key departments such as critical care and the medical assessment unit
  • Improving patient comfort and movement by having a single operating theatre suite close to ward areas instead of theatres dispersed at various locations around the hospital
  • New wards overlooking the views to the Lake District
  • Increasing the proportion of single rooms to meet the 50 per cent minimum single sex accommodation requirement to ensure patient dignity and privacy;
  • Refurbishment of the women’s and children’s unit
  • Demolishing deficient buildings to make space for improved parking facilities at the hospital

Dr Neil Goodwin, Interim Chief Executive, 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 today 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. I am personally delighted that West Cumbria was at the top of this list.”


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