Chorley CitizenEast Lancashire health chiefs in £15million specialist units hope (From Chorley Citizen)

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East Lancashire health chiefs in £15million specialist units hope

Chorley Citizen: An artist’s impression how the surgical unit will look An artist’s impression how the surgical unit will look

EAST Lancashire health chiefs are bidding for a new £10million specialist eye clinic and £5million surgical unit at Burnley General Hospital, it has been revealed.

Designs have already been drawn up for the surgical unit which would replace the buildings on the site of the Wilson Hey Unit.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, who is lobbying for funding from the Department of Health, said it would be 'amazing' for Burnley and is confident the bid will be successful.

He said: “If it falls through so be it, but at least we’ve tried. But I don’t think it will fall through.”

Staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are also in the process of putting together a second bid, worth £10million, for a purpose-built ophthalmology facility.

Both facilities, if bids are successful, will treat patients from across East Lancashire.

The Trust will be competing against other health organisations across the country to secure the capital investment from government. The number of bids, which must also be approved by NHS England, is not yet known.

Mr Birtwistle said he had already spoken to Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who was supportive of the bid.

Mr Birtwistle, Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson will also be meeting Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday in the hope of securing his support for the proposals.

Mr Birtwistle said: “A bid is being worked on now for both projects. We want to get them in before the financial year ends. We want to grab capital money that hasn’t been spent this financial year to spend next financial year.

“It will be amazing for Burnley to have an advanced unit and a new building for surgery.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I’m going to make joint representations with Gordon Birtwistle and Jake Berry to the Secretary of State.

“For years and years Burnley General Hospital was run down with everything being transferred to Blackburn.

“If we can really make a strong case for investing in the Burnley site, we’ll be getting the funding it’s been deprived of for too long."

Martin Morgan, Director of Estates and Facilities at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Trust is preparing to put in two bids to further develop the site at Burnley General Hospital.

“One is for a £5million redevelopment of the current Wilson Hey surgical unit and the other is for a £10million new build ophthalmology unit.”

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