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Angioplasty being offered from Carlisle only strengthens case for a dedicated heart unit at Kendal - Farron

March 22, 2010 12:00 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today said that the decision to offer angioplasty at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle shows the case for removing heart services from Kendal was flawed. Tim has today called for an immediate plan for the reinstatement of services.

It was announced today that a cardiac centre offering angioplasty and other heart services will open next year at Carlisles Cumberland Infirmary.

At the time of the closure of Westmorland General Hospitals heart unit in 2008 it was suggested that Lancaster Royal Infirmarys heart unit would be upgraded to include angioplasty and that, therefore, Kendals heart unit would be of a lower level by comparison. Today's announcement, however, proves that Lancaster is not set to win angioplasty services, undermining the case for removing heart services from Kendal.

Tim has launched a campaign to bring back Kendals heart unit, and he has already secured over 1,000 names on a petition calling for the service to be brought back to the Westmorland General Hospital.

Tim said: "This decision really does show that Lancasters heart unit - whilst excellent - is no better than the unit we had at Kendal. The argument to take coronary services away from Westmorland General has now been shown to be flawed - I want the local NHS trusts to admit that the decision they made in the face of local opposition was the wrong one and initiate a plan to bring back the heart unit.

My time spent on a shift with an ambulance crew in late December convinced me of the need to bring back acute services to Westmorland, as did my visit to the Lancaster Infirmary where it was clear that the service, staff and equipment there, while excellent, are no better than what we had at Westmorland. Over 1,000 local residents have signed my petition to bring the unit back. I hope hospital bosses listen and make sure that the Westmorland General gets the heart services it needs."