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MP BACKS CALLS TO DOUBLE DOCTOR COVERAGE AT WESTMORLAND GENERAL

May 6, 2009 9:26 AM

Health campaigner, Tim Farron MP has reiterated his call for more doctors to be appointed to Westmorland General Hospital following a report from the Independent Health Experts to the County's Health Committee.

The Hospital's Primary Care and Assessment Service (PCAS) - which incorporates A+E and the GP out of hours service - currently runs with just one doctor, even though over night that doctor could be out on call up to 40 miles away from the hospital. Mr Farron has been extremely critical of this 'understaffing' ever since the system came into being last year.

Now, however, Tim's campaign to increase doctor coverage at the hospital has received a boost after it was revealed that the independent experts who are providing advice to the County Council's Health Committee - Dr Clare Gerada and Dr Gill Gaskin- agreed that there should be two doctors working on PCAS to ensure patient safety and reliable coverage.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"It's unacceptable that the admissions and primary care part of our hospital is working on a skeleton staff. The doctors and nurses at Kendal are fantastic, but there are not enough of them.

"It can't be right that the hospital's only doctor could be on call as far away as Chapel Stile of Garsdale at the same time that their skills could be needed at the hospital in Kendal. The trust must act on this advice at once and move to employ another doctor."