£19m investment boost for Morecambe Bay hospitals

Foluke Ajayi
Foluke Ajayi

A new children’s assessment area and a safe place for young people with mental health issues at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary are part of a £19m investment into hospitals run by Morecambe Bay’s Health Trust.

A new mobile breast screening unit is also being considered by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

The trust said the planned capital programme for 2018/19 is one one of the biggest capital investments in the Trust’s history.
Other schemes include an expansion of the Emergency Department at Furness General Hospital (FGH) in Barrow to create a new Resuscitation Area and an upgrade of the Macular unit at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) in Kendal.

The trust said 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, 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 and 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.”

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.”

The trust has recently invested £12m in a new maternity unit at FGH and over £1m for the new Acute Stroke Unit at the RLI.