THE trust that runs Furness General has received £10m in funding as it plans potential upgrades to the site.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are planning upgrades as part of the second phase of the Government’s flagship Health Infrastructure Plan to improve hospitals.

The two trusts have agreed to work collaboratively to maximis funding opportunities to develop plans which will range in scale across the region.

This initial funding has been invested to develop a business case to access further funds for a possible newly built hospital.

Aaron Cummins, the chief executive of UHMBT said: “The NHS is much more than buildings; it’s about people - those that work within it and those that are cared by it.

“Both of our trusts, like the rest of the NHS, are blessed with having an incredible talent pool of professional colleagues, providing leading edge, innovative, life changing care and it is to their credit that they do this in what are often less than ideal conditions. Some of our facilities are no longer fit for the 21st century even if

upgraded with some of them needing to be demolished and re-built rather than just repairing. Our staff, patients and communities deserve much better.”

The plans will fall under the second phase of the Government’s five-year rolling programmed of upgrades to health infrastructure.

The first phase between 2020 and 2025 includes six new hospital projects that are sufficiently developed in order to get the full go ahead now, subject to business case approvals

In the second phase after 2025 21 more schemes for 34 new-build hospitals will go forward, with seed funding provided now to kick-start schemes and allow trusts to proceed to the next stage of developing their hospital plans.

The new funding will be used to look across the whole of the trust rather than one specific site.

Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “This isn’t just about building hospitals.

"We want to use the final funding to transform the health and wellbeing of everyone in the area. Ultimately, we want to help people stay healthy and well and remain out of hospital wherever possible.”

Plans will be developed in partnership trust staff, local communities and partners over the next year .

Following that, outline proposals could be ready for consultation later in 2021.