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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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‘We want to know why our £11m hospital is not open’

Answers are being demanded over the empty £11 million Cockermouth Community Hospital.

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WHAT IS GOING ON? Cockermouth town councillor Len Davies is among those calling for answers over the failure to open the town’s new £11m community hospital

No opening date has yet been announced for the new hospital on Isel Road.

Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham has written to Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, to ask what is going on.

He said: “We need answers now about why this hospital has not opened.

“This has gone on long enough. From the outside it looks like it could open its doors this afternoon, but the NHS seem to have gone quiet over why it cannot be opened.

“I fought to keep cottage hospitals open several years ago and this new facility will be a welcome and much-needed addition to the town.

“I and the people of Cockermouth would like to know when it will become useable.”

Town councillor Len Davies said people had been asking him about the hospital.

He said: “It is an absolutely crazy situation and the people of Cockermouth would love to know what is going on.”

Andy Graham, deputy mayor of Cockermouth, said: “This issue needs to get sorted as soon as possible and the people of Cockermouth deserve an answer.

“Whatever the problem is it is disgraceful as we have a huge amount of money invested in the building and it is not being opened.”

Health bosses said last night that they aimed to move in NHS services by the end of this year, but could not say what the timescale would be.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are aiming to have all of the services which we will provide from Cockermouth hospital in place by the end of the year.”

She said they were going through a thorough process to ensure the highest possible clinical standards for staff and patients.

However, she added that she could not comment on services provided by other organisations.

It is not clear whether legal proceedings launched recently by town chemist JWW Allison are holding up the opening.

The chemist claims that a contract to run the new hospital pharmacy was awarded to another party without a proper tender process.

It has called for a judicial review, and an injunction is in place to prevent a pharmacy from opening at the hospital.

The new complex will replace the old cottage hospital next door, which was built more than 100 years ago.

Have your say

Actually it is our own money freddy, that is to say tax payers money, so we are right to ask what's going on. Having said that it looks like there could be a legal issue with the pharmacy. If that's the case the management will be limited in what they can say right now.

Posted by Neil on 7 November 2013 at 15:53

it will be opened when it is ready and not before, if there is still work going on inside then it isn't ready for the public to wander about in and have accidents!!!

Posted by albert on 6 November 2013 at 12:40

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