Plans for an endoscopy unit at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary have been submitted.
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) secured £15million of funding for the building in Newtown Road in October from NHS England.
The site will be linked to the main hospital and located next to the Cancer Centre, on land previously used for car parking.
There is currently just one endoscopy room of a suitable size at the infirmary and two smaller rooms that do not meet national accreditation standards.
The new building will have five clinical rooms and outpatient areas.
The trust states that the unit will allow patients to access endoscopy faster and there will be capacity for an extra 30 appointments meaning patients currently travelling to Newcastle for procedures can be seen in Carlisle instead.
“When it is up and running the new facility will have more clinic rooms that all meet modern standards which we are not able to meet in the current environment," explained NCIC consultant Daya Karat when the funding for the building was first announced. "We will also be able to treat more patients so it will help reduce our waiting lists and improve timely diagnosis, particularly for cancers.
“As well as a better environment for patients, the unit will also provide improved training facilities for our staff. Any vacancies we have will be filled with mainly current staff who have expressed an interest in expanding their skills.
“Moving the unit out of its current location in the main hospital also frees up space to expand other departments at the Cumberland Infirmary which is a further positive for both staff and patients”
The plans will be considered by Cumberland Council. It is hoped work will begin early next year to complete the project by March 2025.
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