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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Review chief Sir Bruce Keogh to open new Cockermouth hospital

Cockermouth's £11 million community hospital will be officially opened by the professor at the forefront of a review which heavily criticised the trust in charge of north Cumbria’s hospitals.

Cockermouth hospital photo
The new Cockermouth hospital

Sir Bruce Keogh, the national medical director of NHS England, will open the town’s community hospital and healthcare centre on Friday, August 15.

A number of services are all housed in the new building to improve access for the local community, including doctors’ surgeries, an 11-bed inpatient ward, community mental health services and midwifery clinics.

Dr John Howarth, director of service improvement for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is delighted Sir Bruce will be opening the hospital.

“The GPs worked from portable cabins for over four years after the floods of 2009,” he said. “I am really pleased that the people of Cockermouth now have such a good facility for generations to come.

“I am sure that Sir Bruce will agree that this building is a leading example of the ‘one NHS’ vision.”

A spokesman from Cockermouth Community Hospital League of Friends, which has supported the project, said: “We are proud that we could contribute.

“The original founders of the League of Friends purchased the land the new building resides on in the 1950s and we gladly leased this to the NHS for 103 years. Going forward, we will continue to fundraise and work with hospital management to provide further equipment which will benefit the new community hospital and health centre.”

The new hospital and health centre has been open to the public for the past six months.

Cockermouth’s Civic Trust has recognised the design qualities of the building and will be presenting an award during the official opening.

Last year Sir Bruce produced a review of 14 hospitals with high death rates.

It resulted in the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital, being one of 11 trusts to be put into special measures because of serious failings.

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