A new £15m endoscopy unit is being built in the grounds of the Cumberland infirmary. Funding was secured from NHS England for the new building and we expect it to open around February 2025.

The Cumberland Infirmary currently has only one endoscopy room which is of a suitable size and two smaller rooms that do not meet national accreditation standards.

The new build will include five clinical rooms that all meet modern standards as well as an outpatients area. The expansion of the service also means patients currently travelling to Newcastle for a procedure can be seen more locally in Carlisle.

CIC Endoscopy artists impression from front.jpg

The unit will increase the amount of procedures we can carry out to help diagnose a range of conditions and diagnosis will be quicker – particularly cancers – as 99% of patient will receive their diagnostic procedure within 6 weeks of referral. We are confident that being able to treat more patients will reduce our waiting lists and accreditation with the national Joint Advisory Group (JAG) on GI Endoscopy will be achievable, showing best practice and the highest of standards.​​​​​​​ The unit will provide higher standards and a better environment for patients and staff and it​​​​​​​ brings the services at CIC in line with what we already have at the West Cumberland Hospital that was upgraded in 2015.

The building will follow modern methods of construction and will have a conventional look that ties in with the cancer centre. The building will be future proof – there will be more room than we need now however, we know that demand will increase and therefore the expansion within the unit will be there when required.

The current endoscopy unit within the main CIC building will be reutilised the plans of which are not finalised.

The main benefits of the unit are:

  • Patients will be able to access endoscopy faster - 99% of patients will receive their diagnostic procedure within six weeks of referral in line with national standards
  • The additional rooms will have capacity to provide a further 30 lists per week avoiding unnecessary travel outside of the region
  • Being able to treat more patients means it will reduce our waiting lists.
  • It will improve timely diagnosis, particularly for cancers
  • Accreditation with the national Joint Advisory Group (JAG) on GI Endoscopy will be achievable.
  • The unit will also provide improved training facilities for staff.
  • Upskilling staff - Any vacancies we have will be filled with mainly current staff who have expressed an interested in expanding their skills.

The site of the new endoscopy will mean the removal of some car parking spaces while the building work is taking place and they will be repurposed elsewhere on the site.