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Two thirds of patients won't make it to hospital in an hour if WGH heart unit closes

February 25, 2008 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has expressed his grave concern at figures he has obtained today from the North West Ambulance Service which show that were the heart and stroke unit at Westmorland General Hospital to close, almost two-thirds of patients would face an ambulance journey of an hour or more.

The figures at present show that just over a third of patients must wait for more than an hour before being treated in hospital , but that figure almost doubles should the heart unit close. It is said that if heart attack patients are treated within 'the golden hour ' of suffering the episode, they are much more likely to survive and to avoid lasting damage.

Tim Farron said:

"We always knew that closing the heart unit would result in longer ambulance times, but these figures starkly illustrate what a disastrous effect it would have on journey time for the vast majority.

"The evidence of a hugely negative impact on patient care is rapidly mounting, I hope the Hospital Trust will take these figures into account and halt their closure plans."