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UHMBT announces £19m investment into estates improvements across its hospitals

Westmorland General Hospital

[P]atient areas in hospitals across Morecambe Bay will soon undergo transformation and improvements, thanks to a £19m investment by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

With one of the biggest capital investments in the Trust’s history, the planned capital programme for 2018/19 will see improvements made across the Trust’s three main hospitals – Furness General Hospital (FGH), the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI), and Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) – and within community services.

Schemes include an expansion of the Emergency Department at FGH to create a new Resuscitation Area, an upgrade of the Macular unit at WGH, and a new Children’s Assessment Area at the RLI.

The work will improve the environment across different specialties to making the patient experience better for all age ranges.

Other schemes being looked at, include:

  • A new Audiology booth at WGH
  • A safe place for young persons with mental health issues at the RLI
  • Plans for an expansion of the Acute Medical Unit at FGH
  • A new chapel prayer room at FGH
  • Plans for improvements to the Theatres at WGH
  • A new breast screening mobile unit to enable screening to take place in different locations across the Bay

Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer, UHMBT, said: “We are delighted to be able to invest £19m in improving our buildings across the Trust. It will be no surprise to anyone to hear that if patients and families receive care in a better environment then their experience is much more positive. We are lucky in that a lot of our wards and departments are of a good standard but there are areas that need to be renovated, updated or in some cases, moved to a bigger area.

“The schemes we are looking at for this year have all been suggested by our clinical teams because they will not only improve the experience patients and their families receive in hospital but also contribute to the Trust’s ambition of being a great place to be cared for and a great place to work.”

Clinicians from the Trust are currently working with our Capital Services Team to take the initial plans to the next stage, which includes identifying timescales for the schemes that will be taken forward.

Aaron Cummins, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “We all know that the NHS nationally is facing financial challenges and our Trust is no different. However, we have always been really clear that despite the financial pressures, we will always invest in improving our hospitals so our local communities receive the best possible care in the best possible environment.

“We have had a really strong track record in recent years of investing in services for our patients – including our £12m maternity unit at FGH, over £1m for the new Acute Stroke Unit at the RLI, and a further £1m for a new Cardiac Centre at WGH.

“We are really proud that this year’s investment is one of the largest in the Trust’s history, and we hope it sends a strong message to our staff and the local people that we remain absolutely committed to making our hospitals the best they can be.

“It’s really important to us that our patients and local communities can be involved in the design stages too so for some of the larger schemes, there will be opportunities for local people to have their say on how the developments look and feel.”

The Trust is hoping that work on some of the schemes will start over the summer, whereas others are still in the initial stages and may not start until late 2018 / early 2019.

More information on the schemes that will be taking place will be shared with staff, stakeholders, and the public as soon as it is available and regular updates on progress will be provided via the Trust’s social media channels and the dedicated page of the Trust’s website at: