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Tim Farron grills Health Minister on Westmorland General

November 29, 2006 3:30 PM

During Health Questions today local MP Tim Farron asked the following question:

"A constituent of his Honourable Friend, the Member for Morecambe and Lunesdale, suffered a suspected heart attack this month and instead of being rushed to his nearest hospital in Lancaster, was redirected to Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal in my constituency because there were not enough beds available at Lancaster. Does she therefore share my horror that the Hospital Trust is planning to close Westmorland General Hospital's excellent heart unit and will she intervene to save it?"

Replying to these questions, Health Minister Ivan Lewis simply stated that, with devolution, these decisions should be taken at a local level, and that it was "nonsense" that ministers responsible for health should intervene.

Afterwards Tim Farron said:

"It is important that the campaign to keep our heart unit open maintains momentum, and it was good to have the opportunity to further our cause on the floor of the House of Commons.

"The minister's reply was disappointing, but not surprising. The campaign to keep the emergency wards at Westmorland General goes on."