West Cumberland Hospital rebuild 'may aid recruitment'

image sourceNorth Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
image captionThe hospital could develop into a 'health and care campus" over the coming years

The redevelopment of a Cumbria hospital could help solve its recruitment problems, health bosses have said.

Between £30m and £50m will be invested in rebuilding West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

Initial plans for the site include medical training, accommodation and research facilities.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said it wanted to create a "really interesting and exciting model of care" to attract more staff.

image sourceNorth Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
image captionArtist's impression of West Cumbria Hospital redevelopment

Professor Jon Howarth, from the trust, said: "We are currently talking to our partners about what could be provided from a health and care campus.

"As well as providing acute services as we do now, it could also include primary care services and a new education facility in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire.

"I think everyone is aware of the challenges we have in recruitment and retention.

"Developing the medical school at Whitehaven is just one element of our plans to create such an exciting model of care there that people want to come and work with us."

The trust was placed into special measures in 2013, following a review into high death rates, but came out of the regime in March.

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