Morecambe Bay hospitals trust to receive £34m government loan for modernisation programme

Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Royal Lancaster Infirmary

The health trust which runs the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has been allocated loan funding by the government of £34m to improve its hospitals and infrastructure.

The money, which will be available over the next two years, will be used to upgrade operating theatres, replace a CT scanner and replace University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s (UHMBT) ageing heating system with more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.

The funding was allocated following a bid by the trust for emergency capital funding.

Aaron Cummins, chief executive of UHMBT, said: “This is fantastic news for patients and is also a vote of confidence in our teams across Morecambe Bay.

“It is the result of a lot of hard work, not just now, but over the past five or six years.

“The announcement comes just a few weeks after the government told us that we would be granted funding to begin to plan for new hospital facilities as part of the national Health infrastructure Plan.

“The £34m is recognition that some of our buildings and facilities need urgent attention. It also means we can provide our patients with an environment that better reflects the standard of care that we provide.”

The money is part of £184m to be shared between 13 trusts, which was approved by the Health Secretary to go towards modernising equipment, refurbishing wards and ensuring the safety of NHS buildings.

The loans were awarded to some of the most urgent hospital upgrades to protect vital frontline patient care, and will be vital in supporting hospital staff to provide the best quality care and reduce any safety or infrastructure risks.

The news follows the approval of more than £70 million in loans for NHS trusts by the Health Secretary in September.

The loans will ensure that trusts are able to upgrade critical infrastructure and maintenance on buildings, as well as provide the right equipment for staff to carry out their work and provide better patient outcomes.

Loans are issued at National Loan Fund rates, which means the cost is equivalent to the government’s cost of borrowing.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “These loans will make sure hospitals continue to deliver vital services to patients in buildings that are safe and have the right equipment to deliver world-class care.

“Since July, we have injected £4.8 billion capital funding into the NHS – helping refurbish hospital wards, replace old medical equipment and maintain NHS buildings.”