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March 31, 2010 12:00 AM

Progress towards bringing a heart unit back to the south lakes will take another step forward today when local MP Tim Farron meets with heart tsar Professor Roger Boyle in a bid to bring a new heart unit to the Westmorland General Hospital.

WGHs coronary care unit was closed in 2008, despite overwhelming opposition from the local community and against Mr Farron's concerns that its closure would put the lives of patients in South Lakeland in severe danger.

Tim will be meeting later today with Professor Roger Boyle CBE, to persuade him to use his position as the National Director for Heart Disease and Strokes to encourage the board of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust to act upon the huge amount of support for bringing back the heart unit to Westmorland General Hospital.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The congestion at the Lancaster Royal Infirmary as a result of the closure, and the fact that one in ten ambulances does not contain a paramedic, is evidence enough that it was unsafe to close our heart unit at Westmorland General Hospital.

"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 Lancaster hospital where it was clear that the service, staff and equipment there, while excellent, are no better than what we had at Westmorland."

"Securing a meeting with someone of the experience, influence and expertise of Professor Boyle is a real coup for our campaign. I'm very hopeful that this meeting will be a very positive step in our fight to win a new heart unit for the Westmorland General."