First bricks laid in £40m West Cumberland Hospital build

First bricks laid in £40m West Cumberland Hospital build image

A brick laying ceremony was held on Wednesday 25th May 2022 to mark the start of the construction of the new £40m redevelopment project at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The ceremony commemorates the first steps in the construction of phase two of the redevelopment.

The event was attended by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC)’S Chair, Peter Scott, Chief Executive of NCIC, Lyn Simpson, and Executive Director of Performance, Planning and Strategy, Dean Oliver alongside other leading figures from the Trust who have been the driving force behind the project.

Also in attendance was Peter Reavey, Regional Director from GRAHAM, the appointed contractor carrying out work at the site.

Phase two of the plans include replacing up to 40% of the original hospital and building upon the £90m investment from phase one of the project which was completed in 2015. The new build will bring a huge upgrade in facilities for both patients and staff, creating an improved environment while keeping the number of beds and retaining services for the site.

The new build will include a pediatric ward and assessment area, a care of the elderly ward, a specialist palliative care ward, and a stroke/rehabilitation ward.

Peter Reavey, Lyn Simpson, Peter Scott, and John Deegan pictured laying the first bricks of the new redevelopment.

Chief executive, Lyn Simpson said at the event:

“Today’s event marks another milestone in the delivery of a much improved environment for both patients and staff at the West Cumberland Hospital. The designing and planning of phase two has been very collaborative process between our clinical teams. To see the beginning of the work is extremely exciting for everyone involved.”

Lyn added:

“This is fantastic news for the local community and for our teams here, we know how much this hospital means to everyone and making sure it is fit for the future is so important to all of us here today”

The Children and Young People’s unit will be one of the areas being housed in the new build. Ben Frampton, Lead Nurse for the unit at NCIC said:

“This is an exciting time for our team, we have had a lot of input into the design of the new ward and wanted to be sure we are putting patients, families and staff at the heart of what we do by listening to all of their views. When asked to contribute to ideas for the design of the new ward we wanted to guarantee it worked for our patients and their families. No one wants to have to bring their child to hospital, but if you do find yourself here you want to be cared for in the best environment possible.”

Andrea Hendren, Matron for the Copeland Unit and the Loweswater Suite said:

“We’re all so happy to see the work begin on phase two, the new specialist palliative care ward will make a huge difference to both staff and patients. The patients we care for are at the end of their life, they want the opportunity to go outside in the sunshine, for some time away from the ward with their loved ones. The new facilities will be on the ground floor and will make these things possible and enable the staff to provide the most compassionate care to patients and their families."

Peter Reavey, GRAHAM Regional Director, said:

“We know that a lot of work has gone into reaching this point and our team is committed to carrying that determination and passion forward as the construction programme gets underway.”

Dean Oliver, Executive Director of Performance, for NCIC said:

“This is a significant day for the people of West Cumbria, following a lot of hard work to reach this stage. We are now looking forward to continuing that good work with GRAHAM, who were appointed as the main building contractor last month, and all our other partners to deliver a first- rate hospital facility for the benefit of the entire community.”