£400m ‘super hospital’ unlikely, says NHS boss

Better Care Together NHS review open day in Morecambe.  A member of the audience voices his opinion.
Better Care Together NHS review open day in Morecambe. A member of the audience voices his opinion.
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A leading health professional has played down talk of a single ‘super hospital’ serving North Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Andrew Bennett, chief officer for North Lancs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said putting health care services for Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal into one single hospital was “a rumour, nothing more”.

Mr Bennett said a ‘super hospital’ would cost £400m and so it was “not a leading option”.

But, speaking at an event in Morecambe where people could air their views on the NHS, he did not rule the idea out altogether.

Mr Bennett said: “One of the options might be to bring everything together, but there are lots of reasons why we might not The travel distances, and we don’t know where we would get that money from.

“It doesn’t sound like it’s the most easy option.”

The open day at The Platform was part of the ‘Better Care Together’ review which aims to find £32m of savings across local NHS services.

Members of the public asked questions to health professionals including Mr Bennett and Dr Alex Gaw, local GP.

Dr Gaw said a primary care-led centre linked to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary Accident and Emergency (A&E) department was also being looked at.

He said: “There are some complex issues at stake, which is why we want as many people as possible to come forward and contribute their views”

A plan outlining the main options for change to local NHS services will be produced in June. Subject to NHS England approval, further public consultation may take place.

Mr Bennett said: “We know already that some people go into hospital when they don’t need to,

“We know that people need emergency and urgent services 24/7 so it would be our intention that we have those services in the local area.

“There are a number of people who go to the wrong parts of the system because of the way the system is designed.

The Better care together review is being carried out by local NHS organisations including NHS Lancashire North CCG, NHS CCG and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.