West Cumberland Hospital

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West Cumberland Hospital
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
West Cumberland Hospital - geograph.org.uk - 79516.jpg
West Cumberland Hospital is located in Cumbria
West Cumberland Hospital
Shown in Cumbria
Location Whitehaven, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 54°31′47″N 3°33′46″W / 54.5298°N 3.5628°W / 54.5298; -3.5628Coordinates: 54°31′47″N 3°33′46″W / 54.5298°N 3.5628°W / 54.5298; -3.5628
Care system Public NHS
Emergency department Yes[1]
Website http://www.ncumbria.nhs.uk/acute/hospitals/wch.aspx
Lists Hospitals in England

West Cumberland Hospital is a hospital in Hensingham, a suburb of Whitehaven in Cumbria, England. It serves 140,000 residents of West Cumbria. It is under the management of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, who also manage the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. The Trust has been put in Special Measures by the Care Quality Commission. West North and East Cumbria is one of three Success Regime areas in England, where serious problems in the health and care system are being addressed in expedited programs set up by NHS England.

A campaign group is fighting to maintain hospital services at the West Cumberland Hospital, many of which have been moved to the Cumberland Infirmary, 40 miles away from the population centres of the West Cumbrian coast. [2]


In 1924, the Earl of Lonsdale sold Whitehaven Castle to Mr H. Walker, who then donated the building to the people of Cumbria, along with monies to convert it into a hospital to replace the Victorian Whitehaven Hospital.

By 1951, the hospital needed replacing, and representation were made to the UK Government. In 1957, approval was given to break ground on a new hospital, the first built in England following the creation of the National Health Service.[3] It was officially opened on 21 October 1964 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Whitehaven Castle became a geriatric unit until 1986, when due to fire regulations, it had to close. It has now been converted to housing. West Cumberland Hospital a major part of West Cumbria it has been an established hospital and training facility since 1924.

West Cumberland Hospital was promised a revamp to upgrade this hospital in July 2010.[4] A £90,000,000 redevelopment was completed in January 2015, but a fire in the energy centre delayed opening until 5 October 2015 when the new hospital accepted its first patient.[5]


On 2 June 2010, a major incident was declared at the hospital in the aftermath of the Cumbria shootings. Staff at the hospital dealt with casualties and patients in shock.[6]

Downgrading of Services[edit]

A campaign group has been protesting at the removal of services from the West Cumberland Hospital. Much of this care is now provided at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, 40 miles away from the hospital in Whitehaven. A rally at Whitehaven's rugby league ground was attended by 4,000 people in September 2014 [7] and a petition of 22,000 signatures was delivered to 10 Downing Street. The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust was placed in Special Measures in 2013 by the Care Quality Commission, and this was continued on 10 July 2014.[8] In September 2015, West North and East Cumbria (the area covered by North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust) became one of three Success Regimes - expedited improvement programs set up by NHS England and intended to fix the most troubled health and social care systems in England. This culminated in a public consultation on the reconfiguration of services, which closed in 19 December 2016. [9]The Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group acted on the consultation findings on 8 March 2017 with decisions that tried to accommodate the comments made, but still with some downgrading of services.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Treatments". West Cumberland Hospital. NHS. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "West Cumberland Hospital". Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  4. ^ "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Health Secretary announces redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital : Department of Health – Media Centre". Webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  5. ^ "New £90m West Cumberland Hospital opens to first patients". Cumbriacrack.com. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  6. ^ "Gunman kills several in Cumbria : Timeline". BBC News. 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  7. ^ "West Cumberland Hospital fears see thousands gather – BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  8. ^ "Chief Inspector of Hospitals finds that North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust requires improvement and should remain in special measures | Care Quality Commission". Cqc.org.uk. 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  9. ^ "Success regime". Success Regime Cumbria. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Whitehaven News". Retrieved 9 March 2017.