A £65 million investment in health services in Cumbria will send out a strong signal to those considering working in the region.
Stephen Eames, the lead for the West, North and East Cumbria Health and Care Partnership, said the investment over the next three years would give extra confidence to staff, healthcare professionals looking to move, as well as patients.
The funding will be spent on a new state-of-the-art cancer centre at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, the next phase of development at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, and the establishment of Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) which will mean more co-ordinated health and care services delivered locally.
Mr Eames said: “This is fantastic news for patients in Cumbria. This significant investment in our local cancer services – in partnership with the excellent specialist services at Newcastle hospitals – means we can provide more modern cancer treatment, from state-of-the-art facilities, which will benefit people living across north Cumbria. We are keen to get on with the next phase of development at the West Cumberland Hospital and this will enable us to push on with those necessary changes.
“But perhaps most importantly this shows real confidence in our health and care system and we are delighted that this sends a signal to those who may choose to come and work here that things are improving.”
The funding will be released over the next three years.
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There will be between £30-50 million to improve access to chemotherapy and radiotherapy by establishing a new cancer centre, complete with new equipment at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. It will enable the links with specialist services at Newcastle hospitals to be further strengthened. The investment should help 95 per cent of Cumbria patients with suspected cancer receive a diagnosis within four weeks and, by improving access, both 1 year and 5 year cancer survival rates are set to increase. This includes a new radiotherapy LINAC machine which will help to make the service sustainable.
WEST CUMBERLAND HOSPITAL
West Cumberland Hospital will receive between £30-50 million to refurbish and redevelop parts of the hospital estate to bring it up to date, improving the experience of both patients and staff.
INTEGRATED CARE COMMUNITIES
Up to £5 million will be spent supporting the development of Integrated Care Communities – local hubs that bring together GPs, social care, community services, mental health services and specialist hospital consultants to support people closer to where they live.