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MP Challenges Health Bosses to Keep Their Promises to Heart Patients

October 1, 2007 3:00 PM

MP Tim Farron has written to the Chief Executives of the Hospital Trust and the Primary Care Trust to ask them to put off the closure of the Heart Unit at Westmorland General Hospital.

The Heart Unit is due for closure in April 2008. However, Health bosses have made promises in public that the closure would not take place until there was the equivalent of a 'coronary care unit on every ambulance'*.

The Ambulance Service has been clear that while it has every intention of continuing to upgrade its provision, there will not be the equivalent of a CCU on every ambulance, indeed the Ambulance Service has stated that they cannot guarantee that there will even be a paramedic on every ambulance. This means that if Kendal's Heart Unit closes, heart patients who have to take the much longer journey to Lancaster or Barrow will be put at risk.

Tim Farron said:

"The Trusts must keep their promises. If they cannot demonstrate that the ambulance service will provide equivalent care to that provided by Westmorland General's Heart Unit, then they must keep our Heart Unit open."

As well as writing to the local health trust bosses, Tim has written to Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson MP, to ask him to intervene to ensure that the local trusts keep their promise.