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‘Landmark moment’ for Cumberland Infirmary

Posted: 29 Jan 2020


(Pictured): Representatives from GRAHAM and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the turf-cutting ceremony

On Friday 24th January, a turf-cutting ceremony officially marked the start of building work on a multi-million pound cancer centre at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

GRAHAM was awarded the contract to design and construct the new cancer centre for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust through the Procure 22 Framework. 

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are working in partnership with GRAHAM on this exciting development which will create a modern state-of-the art environment for staff, patients, carers and their relatives.

The £35m centre will house a chemotherapy day unit with 15 treatment chairs and three single bedrooms, two linear accelerator (LINAC) radiotherapy machines and a CT scanner suite as well as consultation, examination rooms and a small café area.

Once complete, it will also bring all of North Cumbria’s oncology services under the same room for the first time so patients will no longer have to receive cancer treatment in different parts of the hospital.

‘Positive impact’

James Mulroy, GRAHAM Contracts Manager, said:

“GRAHAM has a strong track record of construction across the healthcare sector and we are delighted to be delivering a project that will have such a positive impact on the local community.

“After 18 months of designing and prepping, the turf-cutting ceremony marks a major milestone in the construction process, as we officially break ground on the project and can now begin to build. The new centre will play a vital role in improving facilities and services available to clinicians, patients and families across the region. We look forward to delivering the new centre in spring 2021, ahead of the planned opening in the autumn.”

‘Wonderful facilities’

Suzanne Stanley, Radiotherapy Services Manager, said:

“This is a landmark moment for the project and we’re really excited that we’ll be able to provide such wonderful facilities to further enhance cancer services that are truly patient focused here at Cumberland Infirmary.

“The new building will be state of the art but it will also be homely. We want to make sure that when people come for their cancer treatment they are receiving it in a relaxing and comfortable environment, an environment that can put them at ease at what is often a frightening time.”

Additional resilience

While North Cumbria Trust will oversee the building of the new centre, once complete it will be run by Newcastle Hospitals as part of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care. Newcastle oncology specialists will work with the existing teams to provide additional resilience to the service.

It will also mean that together the Trusts will be providing one of the biggest combined cancer treatment services in the country.

Newcastle Hospitals’ Executive Chief Nurse, Maurya Cushlow, said:

“We are really excited that, in partnership with North Cumbria, we are now starting to see this ambitious project come to life on the Infirmary site.

“It also demonstrates our shared vision and long-term commitment to delivering high quality, clinically safe and sustainable cancer services to the people of North Cumbria.”

The centre is planned to open in autumn 2021.