New government confirms £70 million for WCH

Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has visited West Cumberland Hospital and confirmed that the hospital will get at least £70 million from the government for the redevelopment project.

The Health Secretary met staff to thank them for their hard work following the tragic shootings, and said:

"I and my colleagues in Government have looked with great care at the case for finding support for the rebuilding of West Cumberland Hospital.

"While other new hospital schemes are being considered in the context of the spending review, West Cumberland will be treated on an exceptional basis, given its stage of development, evident priority and the relationship with local economic redevelopment through the energy coast programme."

Following the election the new coalition government put a hold on all major health projects. This freeze initially included the £100 million redevelopment of the hospital, because despite work being under way and buildings demolished, the previous Labour government had not actually got around to approving even the outline business case.

But it is now confirmed that the Department of Health will provide up to £70 million for the redevelopment of the hospital over three years. Andrew Lansley told the Whitehaven News:

"I have visited the hospital twice in the past. We appreciate how important their services are to the people of West Cumbria. The need to maintain access to emergency care was reinforced by the tragic circumstances following the recent shootings.

"This is the most significant investment into the healthcare of West Cumbria and I am overjoyed for the community that they will now have brand new clinical facilities that will provide high-quality care for the future."

For more details see my hospitals blog (link at right.)


Jane said…
It is good news for West Cumbria that the Department of Health will provide £70 million for the redevelopment of the hospital. A final rebut to Labour's allegations that the Tories do not support the NHS or the local hospitals.

It is typical of Labour's cynical incompetence and Jamie Reed's PR spinning that the old buildings were demolished before the Labour Government had approved the business case. The responsibility for finding the money was left squarely with the new Coalition Government. Jamie Reed cannot claim any credit for the project's go ahead. It is moreover a tribute to the determination of West Cumbrian's collectively in keeping the Government (present and former) informed about the wonderful work the West Cumbria hospital does in this community.
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