To play its part in improving healthcare and health outcomes, the New Hospitals Programme must address five critical challenges:
Demographic trends and access
Ageing acute estate
Specific hospital site-related problems
Keeping up with the best in the world
We provide health services to a population of 1.8m people across diverse communities and varied geographies.
Access to services and travel pose a significant challenge: towns and cities are widely spread and our region’s geography adds to expected travel times.
Our population is ageing: the number of people over 65 is projected to increase by 22% by 2030.
More people in our region experience mental and physical ill-health than in the rest of England.
We also face deep socioeconomic challenges: 20% of our population lives in the 10% most deprived communities in the country.
All of these factors will increase demand for health services both in and out of hospitals in the future.
The age, design and condition of some our hospital buildings mean they do not comply with many basic standards, restricting our ambition to provide high-quality, safe, efficient and cost-effective services for our communities.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Royal Preston Hospital
Any adverse impact on services due to the quality of the estate at Furness General Hospital (University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust) would have a deeper impact due to its remote location.
Furness General Hospital
The poor condition of our hospitals also means we cannot recruit and retain the number of staff we need to deliver services.
Serious dilapidation of buildings due to decades of underinvestment, and backlog maintenance costs totalling £157m.
Demand exceeds capacity across all clinical areas: outdated buildings lack flexible capacity, leading to congestion and overcrowding so that patients wait longer than is acceptable for all aspects of care.
Non-compliance with Health Building Notes (HBN): only 19% of rooms are single-person (should be 50%) and operating theatre capacity is 40% below requirements. This makes it challenging to implement safe infection control measures and to meet the privacy and dignity standards we expect for our patients.
The distance between clinical departments makes the hospital experience worse for patients and carers.
Some tertiary (highly specialised) services have developed and expanded without being able to meet all the estate requirements, restricting our ability to offer some specialised services that should be available to our population.
Most of the site is located on a slope, which in some areas is too steep for patients to be safely moved except by ambulance. Access to much of the site is challenging for people with a disability.
Difficulty in accommodating the latest digital technologies and robotics needed to create an agile network of care across the region: these are essential given the remote geographic location.
Significant backlog maintenance, including an element of physical condition and lifecycle works. Estate running costs of £375 per square metre.
Site fails to meet some Health Building Notes (HBN) standards and capacity requirements, in particular in the Critical Care Unit / High Dependency Unit and single room provision.
Significant risk that this site may never meet carbon emission standards.
Providing state of the art hospital facilities and technology will strengthen Lancashire and South Cumbria’s position as a centre of excellence for research, education and specialised care, significantly boosting the region’s attractiveness to potential recruits and the highest calibre of clinicians.
We need to ensure new hospitals fully embrace the benefits of digital technologies to create an agile network of care, allowing us to optimise the size of our physical footprint and minimise environmental impact.
This will also enable us to provide more specialised services in our hospitals and deliver more care closer to home.
We want to play a leading role in tackling the key issues of our generation – cutting carbon emissions and environmental damage. Aged estate, which was built to service the needs of previous generations, is hampering our ability to achieve this.
Our hospitals are some of Lancashire and South Cumbria’s most significant community assets: they are anchor institutions providing healthcare to our population and employment to around 40,000 people.
The New Hospitals Programme will create jobs and support the economic regeneration of our region, needed now more than ever as the global Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted those most in need.
Investment in hospital infrastructure will support us to build back better and help the NHS deliver on its net zero carbon ambition.
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We have lots more details on the project in our Information hub. Read frequently asked questions, the latest news about the programme and stories from people in the region.
© 2021 Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme.