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MP urges re-think on vascular after Keogh review

July 18, 2013 11:52 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Secretary of State for Health and asked him to urgently re-think the plan for vascular services in the North West after the hospitals hosting two of the three new 'centres of excellence' were named in the damning Keogh review.

Five days after announcing that south Cumbria's emergency vascular surgery will be moved from Lancaster to regional centres in Blackburn, Carlisle and Preston, Jeremy Hunt revealed that the hospital trusts running both Carlisle and Blackburn hospitals were failing so badly that they would be placed under 'special measures' alongside nine other hospitals with higher than expected mortality rates.

In his statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Jeremy Hunt saidof North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust who run Carlisle Infirmary: "the [Keogh] panel found evidence of poor maintenance in two operating theatres, which were closed immediately."

He went on to talk about East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust who run RoyalBlackburnHospital: "The panel highlighted issues of poor governance, inadequate staffing levels and high mortality rates at weekends. Patients and their families complained of a lack of compassion and being talked down to by medical staff whenever they expressed concerns."

Tim has asked the government to look again at the vascular services plans in the light of the Keogh report. He has also asked the MorecambeBay hospitals trust to look at the possibility of a judicial review into the move. Tim has been campaigning against the removal of vascular services from Lancaster for the last two years and has lobbied ministers many times on the issue.

Tim said: "I hope that the Secretary of State thinks again about the removal of vascular services. These facts are incredibly worrying. I'd like the government to look at this again urgently. I'll be pushing ministers to put a stop to this plan to strip this vital service from our trust."