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Farron raises concerns to Cumbria health scrutiny committee over vascular services review

January 29, 2013 10:58 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHCumbrian MP Tim Farron has today written to the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee, expressing fears over NHS Lancashire's proposed removal of the Vascular Services Unit from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. The committee will soon vote to decide whether to appeal this decision to the Health Secretary.

Tim has campaigned strongly against the closure of the unit, warning that it will leave a significant number of people in isolated areas of South Cumbria at serious risk, and is to meet with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the issue.

Tim is now calling on the council committee to use its option to refer the decision to the Health Secretary, after University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMBT) saw an appeal against the decision rejected. Tim argues in the letter that expecting people in isolated areas like Furness and Millom to travel to the new sites in Blackburn, Preston and Carlisle ignores both their needs and entitlements to care.

Commenting, Tim said: "I am very worried about the decision to remove Vascular services from the Morecambe Bay area altogether and urge the Health Scrutiny Committee to think very carefully about the potential implications that this could have on patients in rural areas who need urgent treatment. If they do this I have no doubt that they will decide to take this challenge to the Health Secretary.

"It is absolutely vital that journey times are not increased for people in isolated areas, as this is life-saving surgery. Local provision is crucial and we must continue to oppose this decision"