Staff past and present came together to mark the 50th birthday of West Cumberland Hospital today – and celebrate the exciting times ahead for healthcare in West Cumbria.
As staff, patients and the wider community look forward to the completion of the brand new state-of-the-art West Cumberland Hospital later this year, staff took a moment to look back to 21 October 1964, when the existing hospital was officially opened.
Maureen Fisher, Margaret Nelson and Linda Davey worked at the hospital when it opened its doors half a century ago, and were back there today to share their memories with current staff.
Maureen said: “I was lucky enough to be chosen to present a bouquet to the Queen Mother when she came to officially open the hospital. The wards seemed so high tech then but obviously things have moved on a lot since then, so it is fantastic that a new hospital is being built to bring the facilities up to modern standards for the patients.”
West Cumberland Hospital was the first purpose-built general hospital to be approved and constructed following the founding of the National Health Service in 1948. The current £90 million redevelopment is the single biggest investment into healthcare in West Cumbria since the original hospital was opened by Her Majesty the Queen Mother 50 years ago.
The new hospital building is due for completion this December and departments will start to move in from spring 2015. Parts of the existing hospital which are being retained will then be completely refurbished, creating a fit-for-purpose hospital serving the area for years to come.
Led by clinicians and coordinated by a dedicated new hospital project team, the layout of the new hospital has been designed to provide a streamlined, joined up experience for patients and will include seven state-of-the-art operating theatres, a dedicated emergency floor, and single en-suite rooms.