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Ambulance queues at Royal Lancaster Infirmary are "proof that ambulances must be allowed to return to Westmorland General"

December 10, 2008 11:20 AM

More shocking evidence has come to light about the inability of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary's A&E department to cope with the increased level of admissions since the closure of acute medical services at the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.

Last week seven ambulances were forced to wait outside A&E at Lancaster for around an hour because there wasn't any space in the department for their patients, apparently leaving much of the South Lakes and Lancaster area without proper ambulance cover.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has again called on local health bosses to urgently review its systems for handling acute patients following the implementation of the Acute Medical Services Review in the summer. Since then the Hospitals Trust has failed to meet its four hour waiting time target for A&E at Lancaster every month.

Speaking today, Mr Farron said: "The problems at A&E in Lancaster are extremely distressing for the patients who have been caught up in this mess. Hardly a day goes by without someone ringing my office to complain about the situation, and only last week I had to hand over a substantive number of documents to trust bosses about the latest round of complaints.

"The Hospitals Trust must take immediate action to remedy the situation - including reopening Westmorland General to ambulances. These problems simply cannot be allowed to continue."