£15m plans for new units at Burnley General Hospital

1:15pm Monday 10th February 2014

HEALTH campaigners and MPs have welcomed the possibility of a new surgical unit and opthalmology centre and Burnley General Hospital.

East Lancashire health bosses are currently in the process of drawing up two bids for a new £10million specialist eye clinic, and a £5million surgical unit at Burnley General Hospital, to serve patients across East Lancashire.

Today three Lancashire MPs, Gordon Birtwistle, Jake Berry and Andrew Stephenson, will meet the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt to aim to get his backing for the two proposals.

The news has been welcomed by politicians and health watchdogs from across the east of the county.

Rossendale and Darwen MP Mr Berry said: “I think it’s really important that we do all we can do to ensure we have an excellent local NHS and new services coming to Burnley.

“It gives people from Rossendale a real choice, and Gordon Birtwistle and I are both committed to campaign for this.

“We think it’s achieveable and we’ll both be working to make sure we do what we can to deliver it for people locally.”

Ron O’Keeffe, chairman of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s health scrutiny committee, said: “Indeed, we would welcome this.

“What the NHS is planning now is specialist centres where people are dealt with.

“If that’s what the NHS is planning then that’s the best thing, as long as people are prepared to travel for their treatment, that’s the main thing.

“And people will have to be prepared to travel, because it’s the thing of the future, to have first class services, that’s what it’s all about.”

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