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Friday, 25 July 2014

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New West Cumberland Hospital will be worth the wait, pledges health chief

Hundreds of orthopaedic patients currently forced to travel to Carlisle, will soon be treated in west Cumbria.

Ann Farrar photo
Ann Farrar

Residents have been reassured that while the redeveloped West Cumberland Hospital, in Whitehaven, will not be ready until 2015, work will take place in the coming year to ensure more services are offered closer to home.

Speaking exclusively to the News & Star, Ann Farrar, interim chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals, promised that the new hospital would be worth the wait.

“It will provide for the local people a very modern setting,” she insisted. “That is something that until you see it, work in it and visit it, you don’t appreciate how wonderful it is. It is to be delivered on time, so we are looking forward to the very early part of 2015.”

Mrs Farrar continued by saying: “Prior to it opening, we are looking forward to implementing ‘care closer to home’.”

She revealed that it is estimated about 300 orthopaedic patients currently have to travel simply to receive basic treatment, because the waiting times locally are too long.

“We are looking to bring those patients back to west Cumbria in the next 12 months,” she said.

Consultants will be flexible about where they base their clinics, rotating between the West Cumberland and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Ultimately this should mean the one consultant drives across the county, rather than dozens of patients.

Mrs Farrar added: “There is a lot to look forward to.”

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