Plans to improve child and youth services at West Cumberland Hospital

Exciting plans have been unveiled to upgrade the Children and Young People’s Unit at West Cumberland Hospital (WCH) ensuring it is able to meet the needs of children and young people in West Cumbria, now and in the future.

The Children and Young People’s Department will move into the new build once phase two of the hospital’s £40million redevelopment is completed.

The design of the brand new service aims to “sustain” the service and allow children, young people and their families to be supported and cared for in a welcoming environment.

The design was a collaborative project between staff in the region, with patient and family feedback considered every step of the way.

Ben Frampton, Chief Nursing Officer for Children and Young People, said: “This is an exciting time for our team. We had a big hand in designing the new service and wanted to make sure we put patients, families and staff at the heart of what we do by listening to all of their perspectives.

“When we were asked to contribute ideas for the design of the new service, we wanted to ensure that it would work for our patients and their families. No one wants to have to take their child to the hospital, but if you end up here, you want to be cared for in the best possible environment.

“We asked our patients and their families what they thought would make the most difference to their stay and the answer was, unequivocally, access to a separate kitchen. Parents and guardians who may have an extended stay here want a place where they can cook food or just make themselves a coffee. It was important for us to push this idea forward and make their voices heard.

The new service will also benefit from two designated mental health rooms for children or young people who may need mental health support. The addition of these rooms is essential to providing safe and appropriate care for children and families. These rooms are a necessity for children and young people and are a first for the unit.

Ben added: “We have seen more and more children over the past few years who need help with their mental health. It was important to ensure that the new construction met the needs of these patients. We wanted separate areas that we could use to create a quiet and safe environment away from the rest of the service. »

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