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Building your hospital

Construction giant announced for the £100 million redevelopment of Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital

21 July 2009

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is delighted to announce that it has selected its partner for the £100 million redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital that will generate a significant boost to the local economy and contribute to the regeneration of West Cumbria.

Laing O'Rourke, the largest privately owned construction firm in the UK, will lead the design and construction element of the redevelopment that will see the creation of a modern, state-of-the-art, flexible and sustainable healthcare facility fit for the 21st Century.

This announcement moves forward the plans for the redevelopment of the hospital that also signals the biggest single capital investment into healthcare in West Cumbria for over half-a-century.

Laing O'Rourke is the premier health contractor nationwide under the NHS Procure 21 system, the advised route for all NHS new capital building projects, and has been chosen by the Trust from seven interested potential national partners.

The company has given an undertaking that the majority of the workforce needed for the redevelopment will be sourced from local postcodes through its approved contractors and supply chain.

Laing O'Rourke owes its own foundations to Cumbria where it was founded by John Laing in Cockermouth in 1848. The company built a great number of projects within Cumbria and further afield until it was acquired by O'Rourke in 2001. Laing O'Rourke is now the largest privately owned construction firm in the UK with over 31,000 employees. It has carried out a significant number of healthcare developments, including the recent redevelopment of the Freeman and Royal Victoria Hospitals in Newcastle.

The redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital will be a publically funded capital project i.e. it will not be funded through the Private Finance Initiative. The redevelopment will see the majority of acute clinical services provided in new-build accommodation including a new-build emergency care centre, new theatres, new ambulatory care and new wards.

The redevelopment will also use all current state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that it delivers a low to zero carbon impact on the environment.

Overall, the redevelopment takes account of three "givens" around delivering a new healthcare facility for West Cumbria.

These are:

1. To provide all the services mapped out in NHS Cumbria's Closer to Home strategy which received wide-spread public support during the Primary Care Trust's consultation last year. This included delivering a new healthcare facility in West Cumbria.

2. To provide a healthcare facility designed to modernise, improve and deliver care to all patients in West Cumbria.

3. To move this development forward quickly as public capital is available now.

Mike Little, Chairman of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We are delighted to be making this announcement today. Laing O'Rourke has an outstanding record in delivering state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and we are thrilled to be bringing them on board as partners in this significant development for West Cumbria.

"This major project will provide a new healthcare facility that will see great improvements for all our patients in West Cumbria along with providing a great boost to the local economy."

Carole Heatly, Chief Executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: "Selecting a partner for the redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital was a crucial step forward in our plans to create a new healthcare facility for West Cumbria.

"This is an immensely exciting time for healthcare in West Cumbria. £100 million is a significant investment and the first significant investment into healthcare for West Cumbria in over half-a-century. Working closely with our clinical staff and stakeholders, we will develop a healthcare facility that will offer the best to our patients.

"As a large employer in the area we also take our community responsibilities very seriously. In selecting Laing O'Rourke, we have an understanding that they will use the local workforce as much as possible – this is good news especially in times of economic recession and should do much to strengthen the local economy of West Cumbria."
The Trust's Project Team for this development will now be holding wider discussions with clinical teams in the hospital and our stakeholders to start to produce the detailed designs for the new-look hospital.

It is expected that early preparatory work on the site will start before Christmas this year to allow for the major construction to begin on the site in 2010.

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hospital images

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Take a look at how West Cumberland Hospital will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility fit for the 21st century. Artists' impressions and photos show how the redevelopment is taking shape.

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