Healthy vision for hospitals

An artist's impression of Wigan Infirmary looking east towards Wigan Lane
An artist's impression of Wigan Infirmary looking east towards Wigan Lane
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WIGAN’S hospital trust is investing £15.4m over the next two years to improve services at two of its main sites.

Wigan Infirmary will benefit from a new Education Centre, improved car parking, a new eye care unit, children’s departments, new offices for clinical teams and new pathology and oncology laboratories.

It will also see an expansion of the gastroenterology (digestive and stomach disorders) and endoscopy (internal body investigations) units and changes to its provision of MRI scans.

Leigh Infirmary will see a complete refurbishment of the Hanover unit, with a new gastroenterology facility, urology (urinary medicine) investigation unit and decontamination facility. There will also be a refurbishment and relocation of phlebotomy (blood taking) facilities.

The investment plan announced by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is to be presented to Wigan Council’s Adult Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, outlining the plans for the hospitals.

The new Education Centre will cost £2.9m and is due to open in November this year. WWL says it will offer an increase in training and meeting facilities and incorporate state-of-the-art computer technology and lecture theatres.

The trust has also already begun a £1.4m scheme to improve car parking at the site which will see an increase in parking spaces for both patients, disabled users and staff.

Just under £2m will be spent moving the ophthalmology (eye care unit) to Boston House on Frog Lane. This is due to be operational by October this year and WWL says it will improve clinical accommodation for the unit which in turn will improve patient experience.

Other investments include new clinical offices which will see the demolition of the old Victorian properties WWL owns on the Hawthorns, which it says are unsuitable.

The new pathology and oncology labs will cost £2.1m and will allow for additional work to be undertaken on behalf of The Christie cancer hospital and secure the future of the department.

There will also be just under half a million pounds spent on the MRI department allowing for greater numbers of people to be scanned and having a larger pool of radiography staff.

The largest individual spend will be the £4.6m refurbishment of the Hanover unit at Leigh Infirmary, due to be completed in December this year. WWL say that this will allow for an increase in clinical capacity at Leigh.

Leigh will also see a new phlebotomy unit costing £300,000.