Thursday, July 20, 2017

£65 million for Health in Cumbria and up to £50 million for WCH.

More than £65 million has been awarded to support the development of health services in West, North and East Cumbria.

This will include between £30 million and £50 million to be made available for West Cumberland Hospital. (WCH)

The work at WCH will include a new diagnostics suite, housing cardiology, breast screening, a vascular lab, and a new mortuary. It is expected that the work will be completed by Spring 2018.

Trudy Harrison MP has welcomed this "fantastic news" which will mean faster diagnostic turnaround for conditions including cancer, shorter waiting times, and better patient care.

More comments on the WCH announcement from the News and Star here

The announcement of £65 million for health services in West, North and East Cumbria was made yesterday morning by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens at the Kings Fund, and includes significant investment in:    
  • Cancer care including a new radiotherapy machine,     
  • £30 to £50 million for the next phase of development at WCH      
  • The establishment of Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) which will mean more co-ordinated health and care services delivered locally.
Stephen Eames, chief executive at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said that

“This is fantastic news for patients in Cumbria. This significant investment in our local cancer services – in partnership with the excellent specialist services at Newcastle hospitals – means we can provide more modern cancer treatment, from state of the art facilities, which will benefit people living across north Cumbria.

“We are keen to get on with the next phase of development at the West Cumberland Hospital and this will enable us to push on with those necessary changes

“But perhaps most importantly this shows real confidence in our health and care system and we are delighted that this sends a signal to those who may choose to come and work here that things are improving.”

The funding will released over the next three years:


There will be between £30-50 million to improve access to chemotherapy and radiotherapy by establishing a new cancer centre, complete with new equipment at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. It will enable the links with specialist services at Newcastle hospitals to be further strengthened.  The investment should help 95 per cent of Cumbria patients with suspected cancer receive a diagnosis within four weeks and, by improving access, both 1 year and 5 year cancer survival rates are set to increase. This includes a new radiotherapy LINAC machine which will help to make the service sustainable.

WCH will receive between £30-50 million to refurbish and redevelop parts of the hospital estate to bring it up to date, improving the experience of both patients and staff.

Up to £5 million will be spent supporting the development of Integrated Care Communities – local hubs that bring together GPs, social care, community services, mental health services and specialist hospital consultants to support people closer to where they live.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This funding will support strong local plans to help the NHS modernise and transform care for patients.

“A measure of success of these transformation partnerships is that people can see and feel improvements being made in their local area – there are already excellent examples of this across the country and this money will allow them to go further and faster.”

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Today we’re firing the starting gun on the first wave of major service upgrades and care redesign which will benefit people living in counties, towns and cities across England.”

The announcement from NHS England can be found at:


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