Cockermouth’s local residents have started to benefit from their brand new Community Hospital and Health Centre in the heart of Cumbria, signalling new beginnings for a recovering community.
On the afternoon of Thursday 19th November 2009, the rivers Derwent and Cocker burst their banks and flooded the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, damaging homes, businesses and the local GP surgeries.
Following the flood, the GP surgeries were decanted into temporary portakabins on the local cottage hospital site to ensure continuity of care within the neighbourhood. Justin Harris, Architect and Studio Director at IBI Nightingale said:
“As the extent of the damage was assessed, NHS Cumbria took the opportunity to review its health provision, deciding to create a new ‘joined-up’ service. This strategy inspired the new build Cockermouth Community Hospital and Health Centre, to be delivered utilising the Express LIFT framework by NHS Cumbria’s development partner eLIFT Cumbria Limited and designed to provide a 21st century environment for patients, families and staff.”
Responding directly to the local architectural vernacular, the new building is accessible and therapeutic. Situated close to the town centre, users benefit from views over the beautiful Cumbrian countryside, and historic Cockermouth Castle. Andrea Hendren, Ward Sister for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust who run the inpatient ward at Cockermouth Community Hospital and Health Centre said:
“The families have had nothing but positive comments about the new hospital ward. The patients have settled in well and staff on the ward have said it’s a lovely environment, just like working in a private clinic.”