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New West Cumberland Hospital to open in Autumn

West Cumberland Hospital

The new West Cumberland Hospital is expected to open this Autumn, it has been announced.

That's a boost because progress on the £90m hospital suffered a setback earlier this year, when a fire damaged the energy centre.

The hospital itself wasn't damaged, but was left without any source of electrical power or heating.

A fire damaged the energy centre.

Following the fire it has been important for us to carefully consider and test all of the options we had in order to allow us to move forward both quickly and, most importantly, safely.

We are very pleased to say that we are now back on track and the hospital will be opening to patients in Autumn this year. This is a real testament to the hard work and determination of our staff.

We look forward to arranging public open days in the coming months to allow members of the local community to come and view their fantastic new hospital before we open the doors later this year.”

– Les Morgan, director of redevelopment at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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999 calls in West Cumbria back up and running

Police say people in West Cumbria can now call 999 from landlines after a technical problem was fixed by BT.

The fault meant that 3,000 landlines in Workington, Harrington and Cleator Moor were unable to get through on the 999 emergency number.

Cumbria Police say that if you are unable to get through on a landline then you should call 999 using a mobile phone.

West Cumbrian VC winners to be remembered

Two services are being held in Cumbria today to remember two soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Abraham Acton from Whtehaven, and James Smith from Workington, will both be honoured with paving slabs as a lasting reminder of their bravery.

The following services are being held:

12pm - Workington Railway Station, for Private James Alexander Smith.

13:30pm - Lowther Street, Whitehaven, for Private Abraham Acton.

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Mortality rates down at North Cumbria hospitals

Changes at North Cumbrian hospitals are saving lives, according to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Two years ago the Trust was recorded as having one of the highest mortality rates in England, and in 2013 it was visited by a review team who suggested a number of changes.

But since then, it says mortality rates at North Cumbrian hospitals have dropped. The most drastic reductions have been for people suffering from life threatening heart problems, who are now treated at the Heart Centre in Carlisle, as well as patients with broken hips.

"Our teams have been through a lot of change in the past 18 months but it is down to their sheer dedication and commitment to make things better for our patients that we have not only saved more lives but also given patients a better chance of making a fuller recovery and going on to live longer and healthier lives. This is something that each and every member of staff should be very proud of.

"We are under no illusions, however, that there is still a long way for us to go on our improvement journey.

"Our priority, quite understandably, was to focus first and foremost on fixing the very immediate problems related to mortality, but we still have much further to go to make the experience of care for our patients as good, if not better, than the best of the NHS."

– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director

'I WON'T Survive': West Cumberland Hospital protest video

Adrian Davis-Johnston was born at West Cumberland Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

'I Won't Survive' is the message from a man from Great Broughton, who's concerned about some services at West Cumberland Hospital being downgraded.

Adrian Davis-Johnston's performed a parody of Gloria Gaynor's 1970s hit 'I Will Survive'.

It's already got nearly 3,000 views.

New questions over maternity services in Whitehaven

ITV Border has learnt that managers at the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust have made internal proposals to downgrade maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital. Until now health bosses were expected to wait until the results of an external review in November before making plans.

The local MP Jamie Reed says maternity services must continue to be led by consultants. The trust acknowledges it has had initial discussions about a range of options. Katie Hunter reports.

'Hopefully the Beacon will become self-sustainable'

A bid to develop the Beacon museum in Whitehaven has been submitted by Copeland Borough Council.

Councillors say the development, that would cost an estimated £1.2 million, would benefit the economy in West Cumbria.

The museum was re-opened this spring after Sellafield agreed to pay for its running costs for the next five years.

Elaine Woodburn, Leader of Copeland Borough Council, said:

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