Cockermouth hospital scheme set to start in summer
Last updated at 21:05, Thursday, 15 March 2012
Work on Cockermouth’s new £11 million community hospital is due to start in the summer after approval was given for the development last Thursday.
The hospital scheme, along with the £90 million redevelopment of Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital and a new £4 million health centre in Cleator Moor, already had planning permission.
Progress stalled last year, however, when regional health bosses asked for more details about how the schemes would link together.
It meant that NHS Cumbria, which is leading the Cockermouth and Cleator Moor projects, and the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, which is behind the West Cumberland Hospital plans, had to look again at local service provision.
A dispute between the primary care trust and the hospitals trust delayed the Isel Road scheme and the West Cumberland Hospital project earlier this year.
But after lengthy talks they finally backed each other’s schemes last month.
NHS North of England, the strategic health authority, met in Leeds last Thursday to formally back the three schemes.
The West Cumberland Hospital project must now go forward to the Government for final approval but it is hoped that building work can also begin in the summer.
The Cockermouth hospital will be built on land next to the current Isel Road site, which is more than 100 years old. It will combine GP and community hospital services and it is hoped it can be finished by next autumn.
The news was welcomed by Cumbria Local Involvement Network, which represents patients.
Chairman Alan Alexander said: “At long last the people of West Cumbria can look forward with some optimism to a redeveloped hospital that is fit for the 21st century.”
Workington MP Tony Cunningham said: “It has been a long hard road and we have had quite a few setbacks, but we have been working extremely hard behind the scenes.”
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 15 March 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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