Investment at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal has hit £22.3 million, including a new £13.7 million state-of-the-art surgical hub.

This significant financial backing, which also encompasses work to build a new £8.6 million Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC), is being provided by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

The organisation's aim is to offer superlative care, treatment, and experience to those who live in the Morecambe Bay area.

The Trust's plans also seek to safely decrease patient stay lengths, enhance waiting times, foster an improved working environment for colleagues, and increase service efficiency.

The Surgical Hub is set to feature two brand-new operating theatres, an upgraded trio of existing theatres, an extended Operating Theatres Recovery Area, and 'ultra-clean' canopy technology in all theatres.

It will also see a new four storey extension, a new plant room with new air handling systems, siting of all the surgical wards, theatres, and associated services on the same floor, and new support spaces.

All these facilities will be in close proximity to the CDC, promising easy access to specialist scanning and diagnostic technology.

Samantha Pugh, Theatres Matron at WGH, said: “We have already started the transformation of WGH into a Surgical Hub and we’ve had very positive feedback from patients who have told us they have really enjoyed being on the surgical ward and having more one-to-one care.

“At Kendal we have very experienced staff who take great pride in their work. There’s a real family atmosphere because we see patients right from the beginning of their care through to the end. It’s nice being part of a big team.

"Having everyone in one place is going to be a real benefit for patients and for the team’s morale. It will make working here even better and safer for everyone. With every new theatre that opens, it’s a really big tick and a real sense of achievement.”

The surgical hub is being built on Level 3 of the hospital and has an estimated completion date of July 2024.

Daniel Bakey, Associate Director of Operations for the Surgery and Critical Care Group at UHMBT, said: “There are many advantages to the development of the elective Surgical Hub at Kendal, one of the main ones being that we will be able to do support more routine, urgent and cancer surgery.

"We have already undertaken a significant exercise to redesign our theatre timetable, delivered a project to reduce length of stay for hip and knee replacements and to commence expanding the hub prior to the capital works completing. Our Capital Services Team is doing a fantastic job on this challenging project.

“The Surgical Hub will improve communication between team members because everything will be in one place in the hospital. We have been reliant on temporary, hired mobile operating theatres over the past two years and welcome opening permanent, reliable, sizeable and purpose-built theatres in the coming months.”