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Protest planned for West Cumberland Hospital opening

The new West Cumberland Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

Protestors will demonstrate outside the new West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, when it opens to the public for the first time.

Public open days are scheduled for September 24 and 25, and the leader of campaign group We Need West Cumberland Hospital says they have organised a demonstration on Thursday 24.

The group is against the transfer of services, and patients, to other hospitals, like the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Siobhan Gearing, the campaign leader, says the NHS Trust still isn't listening to them:

We want to show that the public are still here, and we need to be taken into consideration.

The Trust are still not listening to the needs of the public, who are affected by changes to West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary.

W want service users to come along and show that we need the services we once had, and for the Trust to say publicly that they are willing to make changes for the good of West Cumbria."

– Siobhan Gearing, campaign leader

What's inside the new West Cumberland Hospital?

An operating theatre inside the new hospital. Credit: ITV Border

Find out what's inside the new £90 million West Cumberland Hospital.

Key facilities:

  • 169 beds
  • 10 operating theatres including one that uses a laser for operations
  • 162 extra parking spaces

Inside the new hospital:

  • Level 2 - sterile services, pathology, pharmacy, catering
  • Level 3 - a number of units including A&E and Cumbria Health on Call
  • Level 4 - a number of units including operating theatres and maternity services

Inside the retained building, which is being redeveloped:

  • Level 2 - mortuary, chapel, chemotherapy
  • Level 3 - a number of units including cardiology and respiratory
  • Level 4 - women's outpatients, day assessment area for maternity, postnatal ward and elderly care ward
  • Level 5 - Copeland unit, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy

You can find the full list of services in the West Cumberland Hospital, which opens on 8 October, here.

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Thousands protest loss of West Cumberland Hospital services

Credit: ITV Border

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Whitehaven yesterday to protest the loss of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Campaigners want some services to be brought back to the town after they were moved to Carlisle.

But the Trust which runs the West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary has said it's committed to the future of both hospitals.

Protest held over West Cumberland Hospital services

People have been gathering in Whitehaven for a protest march about a loss of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

They say they're angry that services transferred to Carlisle, while the new hospital was being built, will not return when the new facility opens later this year.

However, the hospital trust insists the changes have saved lives.

"It's our duty to ensure we provide safe, high quality patient care for the people we serve.

"The independent evidence is now very clear that following changes made to transfer very small numbers of seriously ill patients to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, more lives are now being saved.

"We very much look forward to the opening of our new state-of-the-art hospital later this year.'

– North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Volunteers needed for new West Cumberland Hospital

Credit: ITV Border

Volunteers are being sought to help out at the new £90million West Cumberland Hospital when it opens this autumn.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is holding a recruitment drive next month to encourage people to find out more about what being a volunteer involves.

Volunteer roles are varied but the Trust is especially looking for approachable people to meet patients and visitors when they enter the hospital, answer queries and be a welcoming face.

The volunteers’ recruitment drive takes place from Tuesday 2 to Friday 5 June 2015 to coincide with Volunteers’ Week 2015, which runs from 1 to 7 June.

Volunteers from across North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust have also been invited to events held in both Whitehaven and Carlisle next month to meet volunteers from other departments and celebrate the contribution they make.

“The opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital is an incredibly exciting time for the community and volunteering to be a part of it is a great chance for local people to get involved. “We already have a fantastic team of volunteers working throughout the Trust and the events next month are a way of the Trust thanking them for their time and commitment, and for volunteers to meet volunteers from other departments.”

– Claire Unwin, volunteer and charity development officer North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Anyone interested in volunteering at West Cumberland Hospital and booking a place on the recruitment event to find out more should email volunteering@ncuh.nhs.uk or call 01228 814567.

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