HOSPITAL bosses are finetuning bids for two new schemes worth £15million at Burnley General Hospital ahead of their final submission to the Department of Health.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) wants to create a £5million surgical unit and £10million ophthalmology centre at the Casterton Avenue hospital.

And proposals for the centres are now set to be considered by the trust's board before they are put before Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

If successful, the project would see improvements made to the Wilson Hey Centre, which is used for elective surgery, and a new facility providing specialist eye care and treatment created.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported in February how Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, met Mr Hunt, to convince him of the merits of the proposals.

The trust has now drafted its official strategic outline bid and hopes to complete the bidding process by the end of the year.

Mr Birtwistle said: “Going off what happened with the funding for the emergency unit, it takes around six months for the government to come back with confirmation once it is submitted.

“By meeting Jeremy Hunt and Danny Alexander - who confirmed the money was available - we hope to speed that process up and get it through a bit quicker. We are talking about state-of-the-art technology coming to Burnley.

“This could be a real game-changer for Burnley General. If we got the money, it would be fantastic.”

Jonathan Wood, director of finance at ELHT said: “A strategic outline case will be considered by the trust board in June, before submission to NHS England’s Trust Development Authority.

"This is at the first stage of a process which we hope will result in approval later in the year.”

Mr Birtwistle added: “I always said my top priority was to fight for improved services at our hospital, so it was great to see the new emergency unit opening a couple of months ago.

“These new units will mean major improvements to health care facilities in the town and I’ll be pushing for the health trust to get the support they need from the government.”