A statement issued in October 2020 revealed the Government was considering replacing both hospitals and either building two new ones or building a super-hospital on the M6 corridor.
But on Tuesday (March 10), the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria revealed the idea had been discounted from the shortlist after "detailed consideration".
The shortlist reflects feedback gathered from more than 12,000 local people, patients, NHS staff, community representatives and stakeholders over the last year.
Jerry Hawker, Executive Director for the Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme, said: “The people we’ve heard from have told us they agree that Lancashire and South Cumbria needs funding for new hospital facilities.
“However, we’ve also heard clearly and consistently that travel and accessibility are a huge priority.
“This was an important factor in helping us decide which proposals to take forward and which to discount from the shortlist.”
Options that were discounted from the shortlist were:
- A single new hospital on a new central site to replace both Royal Preston Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary (with some local services to be retained in a new integrated community centres in Preston and Lancaster)
- A new Royal Lancaster Infirmary on the existing site, with partial rebuild/ refurbishment of Royal Preston Hospital
- A new Royal Preston Hospital on the existing site, with partial rebuild/ refurbishment of Royal Lancaster Infirmary
- A new Royal Preston Hospital built on a new site, with the existing Royal Preston Hospital site retained for some services and partial rebuild of Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
“We want to thank everyone who has taken the time to share their views,” Mr Hawker added.
“We are now asking local people to share their opinions on the proposals we’ve shortlisted, and may move to public consultation if the option or options we take forward could change services or patient access significantly.
“We’ll continue to keep everyone posted on our plans.”
The shortlisted proposals are:
- A new Royal Lancaster Infirmary on a new site, with partial rebuild/ refurbishment of Royal Preston Hospital
- A new Royal Preston Hospital on a new site, with partial rebuild/ refurbishment of Royal Lancaster Infirmary
- Investment at both Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Royal Preston Hospital, allowing partial rebuilding work on both existing sites
- Two new hospitals to replace Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Royal Preston Hospital (new sites).
These proposals also include investment in Furness General Hospital, required due to its geographically remote location, its proximity to some of the UK’s major strategic national assets, and its need to meet NHS environmental goals.
Following detailed analysis of each shortlisted option’s feasibility, the programme will follow a clear process over the coming months, with scrutiny and approvals needed from decision makers within the NHS, the government and local authorities, and ongoing patient and public involvement, before the preferred option is agreed.
The programme aims to complete the building of new hospital facilities by 2030.