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MP holds successful meeting with National Heart Tsar

April 1, 2010 12:00 AM

Yesterday afternoon, local MP Tim Farron met with Professor Roger Boyle the National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke Vascular Programme - the so-called 'Heart Tsar'.

The meeting in Westminster was set up to give Tim the chance to ask for Professor Boyle's help in his fight to return a heart unit to Westmorland General Hospital.

Professor Boyle shared Tim's concerns about the potential dangers faced by South Lakes' residents given the absence of cardiac services at Westmorland General. He agreed to help Tim by holding a short investigation into the impact on local patients of the current inadequate provision of cardiac services in the South Lakes. Professor Boyle has agreed to investigate the number of patients in South Lakeland who suffer heart attacks and the number of those patients who receive clot-busting treatment before they reach hospital. Professor Boyle has also agreed to investigate the number of patients who survive, having been taken on the longer and more dangerous trip to Lancaster rather than Kendal.

As a result of Tim's meeting with Professor Boyle, Tim also discovered that an external review of the cardiac services in Morecambe Bay had been completed in late 2009 and that this had been critical of the standard of care in our area.

Tim said, "As we fight to win a new heart unit for our area, it is immensely encouraging that Professor Boyle has shown such interest in our plight. His offer to investigate the decline in heart services locally offers real hope that we will prove the case for heart services in Kendal and will put those who have opposed the heart unit on the back foot. Our successful campaign to win a Cancer Unit for Westmorland General Hospital began with a crucial meeting between myself and Professor Mike Richards, the national Cancer Tsar so we have reason to be optimistic having had such a useful meeting with the Heart Tsar."