£15m. plans for Burnley General Hospital

Burnley General Hospital could be transformed with a £10m. specialist ophthalmology centre and a £5m. surgical unit.

Thursday, 6th February 2014, 11:59 am
The proposed new £5m. surgical unit at Burnley General Hospital (s)

Bosses at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are in the process of putting together two bids for the purpose-built facilities.

The surgical unit would stand on the site of the Wilson Hey Unit and replace the current building.

The Trust will be competing against health organisations from across the country for the capital funding from government.

But the town’s MP Mr Gordon Birtwistle said he had already approached Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, about the funding and he, along with fellow East Lancashire MPs Jake Berry and Andrew Stephenson, will meet with Mr Alexander on Monday to further discuss the proposals.

Mr Birtwistle said, if given the go-ahead, the facilities would be “amazing” for Burnley and added he would like Burnley to become a centre of excellence for treatment and research.

Mr Birtwistle said there was a good chance the hospital would get capital funding for the surgical unit but said competition for the £10m. ophthalmology unit, which would be a specialist centre for the treatment of eye conditions, would be more fierce.

“To have an advanced unit at Burnley General Hospital plus a building for surgery would be amazing. I think we will almost certainly get the surgery unit for £5m. The Trust planned to have it anyway but in an existing building.

“They are trying to build the hospital back up.”

Mr Birtwistle said if the bids, which must also be approved by NHS England, are successful work could start within the next 15 months.

The news was welcomed by the leader of Burnley Council, Coun. Julie Cooper, who praised the new £9m. urgent care centre which opened last month.

“The urgent care centre is fantastic. I welcome what Gordon Birtwistle says, that the hospital could get more funding from the Treasury. I would be the first to applaud that.”

Mr Martin Morgan, director of estates and facilities at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Trust is preparing to put in two bids to further develop the site at Burnley General Hospital.

“One is for a £5m. redevelopment of the current Wilson Hey surgical unit and the other is for a £10m. new build Ophthalmology unit.

“I am confident that these developments will further reinforce our commitment to improving services and patient experience on the Burnley General Hospital site.”