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Farron campaigns for specialist eye unit at Westmorland General Hospital

April 7, 2009 1:12 PM

Elderly patients seeking expert eye care are being forced to travel as far away as Blackpool to receive treatment according to local MP Tim Farron.

Mr Farron has written to the Chief Executive of the Hospital Trust, Tony Halsall, asking him to bring a specialist eye unit at Westmorland General Hospital.

Tim has also spoken with patients and with the senior Ophthalmic consultant and has found a great deal of support from patients and staff for his proposal.

Given the large number of elderly residents in South Lakeland, Mr Farron has expressed his dismay at the current lack of specialist local services, which has meant many patients have been discouraged from getting their required eye care treatment due to the long distances they would be have to travel.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"There is a large demographic of elderly people in South Lakeland, so it's natural that there are going to be a higher proportion of residents seeking specialist eye treatment than in other areas of the country.

"The fact that some residents are having to travel as far a field as Blackpool to get the treatment they need is simply unacceptable. Any sort of visual impairment can be hugely problematic, but for the elderly it can be particularly distressing and debilitating.

"The fact that difficulties in gaining access to care have been putting people off from seeking treatment is hugely worrying. People shouldn't be prevented from accessing vital treatment based on where they live.

"I'll be writing to Tony Halsall, the Chief Executive of the Hospital Trust, to ask him to investigate the possibility of getting a specialist eye unit at Westmorland General Hospital so that South Lakeland residents are no longer forced to travel across the North West to receive treatment."