The Future of Children and Young people’s services at West Cumberland Hospital

The Children and Young people’s service will be relocating to the new build once phase two of the redevelopment of the West Cumberland Hospital is complete. 

NCIC unveiled exciting plans last year to upgrade the Children and Young People’s unit ensuring it was fit for purpose and able to meet the needs for children and young people now and in the future. 

The design of the brand new ward is intended to futureproof the service and allow children and young people and their families to be supported and cared for in an environment which is appropriate and welcoming.     

The design was a collaborative project between staff from the area with patient and family feedback taken into consideration at every step of the way. 


Ben Frampton, Lead Nurse for Children and Young People said:

“This is an exciting time for our team, we have had a lot of input into the design of the new ward and wanted to be sure we are putting patients, families and staff at the heart of what we do by listening to all of their views.

Ben continued:  

“When asked to contribute to ideas for the design of the new ward we wanted to guarantee it worked for our patients and their families. No one wants to have to bring their child to hospital, but if you do find yourself here you want to be cared for in the best environment possible. We asked our patients and families what they felt would make the most difference to their stay and the answer was unequivocally, access to a separate kitchen area. Parents and carers who might have an extended stay here want somewhere they can prepare food or simply make themselves a coffee. It was important to us to take this idea forward and have their voices heard.” 

The new ward will also benefit from two designated mental health rooms for children or young people who might be suffering with their mental health. The addition of these rooms is essential in providing safe and appropriate care to children and families. These rooms are a necessity for children and young people and are a first for the unit.

Ben added:

“We’ve seen more and more children in the last few years who need support with their mental health, we needed to ensure the new build catered to the needs of these patients. We wanted separate areas which we could use to create a calm and safe environment away from the rest of the ward.”   


Children and Young People services at WCH 

At West Cumberland Hospital, children & young people are cared for by a dedicated team of specialists from Health care Assistants, Play Specialists, Nurses, Advanced Clinical Practitioners and Consultants. Our aim for Children and Young people is to provide safe, high quality care in a friendly and inviting environment. We aim to keep patients calm and relaxed whenever they visit.

Who makes up the team?  

Clerical staff     


20 Paediatric Nurses

7 Health Care Assistants 

3 Advanced Clinical Practitioners

1 Play Specialist 

The Service

The service provides care for patients aged up to 16 years with a broad range of conditions.

We adopt a family-centred approach, and encourage all parents and carers to be involved in their child’s care and decision making. 

The service is made up of the general/acute inpatient paediatric ward which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This runs alongside a short stay ward where children & young people may be admitted to have a rapid assessment to decide on the best course of treatment. Appointment-based clinics also run each week on the ward, including immunisation clinics, allergy testing as well as routine and monitoring blood test clinics.

The ward is supported by a range of specialties also based at the West Cumberland Hospital including:

  • Ear Nose and Throat 
  • Orthopaedics 
  • Ophthalmology
  • Dermatology

Those children and young people who have elective surgery at WCH will also receive pre and post-operative care on the Children’s ward.

The service also works in partnership with Newcastle Hospitals providing children and young people with complex care the specialist attention they need as close to home as possible. This includes The Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) which was set up so that children and young people could be given the dedicated care they require whilst minimising the need to travel to specialist centres as much as possible. The team at WCH have a strong link to the Newcastle team and hold regular meetings to discuss the ongoing treatment of any shared paediatric patients.  

The service has now also developed a specialist paediatric unit within A&E meaning that children and young people, alongside their families, have access to a separate waiting area which is equipped to support them whilst visiting A&E. The unit is staffed by the team from the Children & Young People’s ward alongside two full time paediatric nurses. This dedicated unit hopes to provide excellent care, alongside helping to safeguard children and young people by and allowing them to be seen by specialist nurses.