Increased demand adds to A&E pressure
The latest figures show that ever more people are having to make use of local A&E services. South Lakeland MP Tim Farron says this reinforces the need for an Urgent Care Centre in Kendal, as well as for extra investment in the NHS.
Data released this week shows that over the last year, an extra 1311 people have had to make use of A&E services compared to the year before. This represents a 1.5% increase in demand.
However, these problems could be set to get even worse, given that NHS services in Lancashire and South Cumbria face cuts of £572million by 2021.
Tim is calling for an Urgent Care Centre to be set up at Westmorland General Hospital, which although not a full A&E would deal with more serious cases than the hospital currently can and mean patients with less serious conditions could be sent there.
Tim said: "Our dedicated NHS staff provide fantastic care to local people, but there is a limit to what is possible. This data shows that demand for services continues to increase, yet at the same time the Conservative government is trying to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from the NHS in South Cumbria and Lancashire.
"Setting up an Urgent Care Centre in Kendal would enable more cases to be seen there and relieve pressure on the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
"More generally, the government must recognise that our NHS is in crisis and urgently needs more money. Without extra cash, the crisis will only get worse."