The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust which runs the West Cumberland Hospital say the £90 million redevelopment marks a new era in healthcare for West Cumbria and will be completed in five months.
Our clinical departments will move into the new hospital in spring 2015 and the modern facility offers many state-of-the-art services including seven operating theatres and an integrated emergency floor....the new hospital is something for the local community to celebrate and we look forward to providing high quality care in a modern environment.”
– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Over 100 campaigners are marching through Whitehaven in protest at changes to the West Cumberland Hospital.
They're concerned services could be moved further away and have gathered over 6,500 signatures on their petition over the last month.
"People should be able to get the best treatment possible at the West Cumberland Hospital, rather than travelling to Carlisle or even Newcastle. Travelling that far could mean the difference between life and death."
– Siobhan Gearing, 26-year old campaigner
North Cumbria NHS Hospital Trust is drawing up its plans for the next 5 years. It needs to save £30 million and says current spending would leave a gap of another £20 million.
Bereaved families in Cumbria have been planting snowdrops at Sizergh Castle near Kendal in memory of their loved one.
Child Bereavement UK's snowdrop walk is designed to give families a physical remembrance at a place they can come back to.
"I think it's the significance, it's the ritual of coming and doing something. It's an act to remember. It's a special place that they come back to visit. They're with other families who are in a similar situation, so everybody understands each other. They will chat to other families while they're doing it. And it's just that special place for them to remember that special person."
– Leanne Jones, Child Bereavement UK
"Families in this area can be very isolated when they're bereaved. It's difficult sometimes for them to get access to services and find support, and so we offer support to bereaved children and young people aged 0 to 19 in the South Lakeland area."
– Tina Sudlow, Child Bereavement UK Support Worker in South Lakeland