Farron presses ministers to bring A&E back to Westmorland General Hospital
South Lakes MP Tim Farron this morning used Health Questions in the House of Commons to press ministers to intervene to bring Accident and Emergency services back to Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.
Raising concerns about the problems caused by long distances between South Cumbria communities and the nearest emergency unit at Royal Lancaster Infirmary or Furness General Hospital. Tim highlighted the potential health implications of having to travel sometimes up to 2 hours to the nearest emergency unit. He called on the Minister, Dan Poulter MP; to look into the problem in Morecambe Bay and encourage the Trust to review is allocation of acute services across the region.
In response, the minister accepted that 'the capitation formula has not recognised the fact that there are a lot of older people in rural areas and further distances to travel', and agreed that the Government would look further into this particular issue.
Tim has been leading a campaign across the South Lakes to bring about a new radiotherapy unit at Westmorland General to ensure full cancer services are available to patients across South Cumbria. He has also been spearheading calls to see a return of acute services to Kendal.
Commenting Tim said: "The distances that some people across the south of Cumbria have to travel to reach their nearest emergency unit can be up to 2 hours which is incredibly dangerous, especially for elderly or critical patients.
"During the recent crisis at the hospital trust I suggested one way to alleviate pressure would be to increase the number of services at Westmorland General. The new management at the Trust have already shown welcome vision and competence. In the New Year we will have the opportunity to input into a review of services across Morecambe Bay. I want the Trust to use the fresh start that these major reviews provide to bring back accident and emergency services to our hospital.