We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Lack of doctors at Lancaster hospital raises concerns

July 6, 2010 12:00 AM

Staffing issues at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary are threatening patient safety and undermining the reasons behind ward closures at the Westmorland General Hospital, South Lakes MP Tim Farron said this morning.

The MP has received reports from staff at the RLI that the acute wards now treating patients from the South Lakes frequently don't have the level of cover by hospital doctors that they should have. The problems are thought to arise from the implementation of the European Working Time Directive and issues surrounding the availability of doctors to cover for others who are off work for whatever reason.

Speaking this morning, Tim said: "One of the key reasons that local trust bosses gave us for closing the acute wards at the Westmorland General Hospital was that there would be sufficient cover by hospital doctors at Lancaster.

"Now we find out that the situation at Lancaster is no different, and that many wards are being left without a hospital doctor on the ward for days at end. Staff tell me that this causes huge problems for the treatment of patients and the efficient running of the acute wards at Lancaster.

"Once again patients are being forced to travel huge distances to Lancaster on the promise of a better service, when in reality the service is no better than that which was provided at the Westmorland General Hospital prior to August 2008.

"I will be contacting local health bosses and asking what they intend on doing to solve this problem quickly, and ensure that patient safety is not put at risk."