Against all the odds, Kendal's hospital will retain a cardiac unit following negotiations between Tim Farron MP, NHSSOS campaigners and local health bosses.
The new Cardiac Assessment Unit will be up and running in the next few weeks.
• The Hospitals' Trust has agreed to open a Cardiac Assessment Unit which will allow patients to be assessed and monitored, stabilised and thrombolysed in Kendal.
• Patients who present themselves or are referred to the unit by their GP will be admitted to this unit.
• The Trust has agreed that there will be a full cardiac arrest team available at the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Ambulances travelling from Kendal, north of Kendal or who would otherwise be travelling past Kendal to get to Lancaster will be able to stop at the Westmorland General if the patient they are carrying has had a medical cardiac arrest, and is not responding to treatment.
• Previously the Hospitals' Trust would not have had facilities for patients at Kendal from this summer - with all medical cardiac admissions taking place at Lancaster, Barrow or Carlisle.
• To make sure that the Hospitals' Trust keep their promises, well-known local health campaigner and nurse, Maria Radice, will become a member of the hospital's clinical governance group.
Local MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news. Speaking after finalising the arrangements with the Hospitals' Trust's Chief Executive this morning, he said: "This is a remarkable victory for local people. It is proof that all our hard work as a community has paid off. Every petition signatory, every letter of protest, and every person who turned up to marches and demonstrations made a huge difference.
"However, we still need to fight against the loss of, and for the improvement and development of services at the Westmorland General. Today's news does not mean that all of the Acute Medical Services Review is acceptable - it isn't. Our job is to continue to be vigilant in defence of our hospital. Today's news, though, should encourage us that if we stick together as a community we can change things for the better."
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