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Tim Farron

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MP opposes closure of Ward 1

January 24, 2007 11:15 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has stated his opposition to the closure of ward 1 at Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital as it becomes clear that the closure will result in the lost of another four beds at the hospital.

Ward 1 is scheduled for closure on January 28th, and is currently in the process of being wound down. Staff and patients from the ward are being transferred to other wards in the hospital. However, while the Hospitals Trust have stated that 'all ten beds' on the ward would be relocated, Tim Farron has discovered that there are currently 14 beds on the ward, and that there were 18 there as recently as the end of November.

Speaking about the ward's closure, Tim said: "It is dishonest of the Hospitals Trust to say that 'the beds currently provided on ward 1 will be relocated' and that 'this proposal does not constitute a change in service as the same number of beds will exist'. Are they just hoping that people won't notice the cut from 14 to 10 beds?

"The Hospitals Trust are blaming staff shortages for this cut, but they know that the solutions to the staff shortages are in their hands. Staff morale is at an all-time low because of the threat that the Hospitals Trust are wielding over the Westmorland General. That morale problem could be solved in one stroke by the Trust pulling back from proposals to cut the vital acute medical services which the hospital provides."