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Beds shortage shows need for Kendal Urgent Care Centre - Farron

February 6, 2017 3:24 PM

The latest NHS data reveals that local hospitals have been operating at unsafe levels this winter, with more than 99% of all beds occupied at certain times. South Lakeland MP Tim Farron is calling for extra funding, as well as an Urgent Care Centre at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal to help relieve the pressure elsewhere.

Since the start of December, 97.5% of all beds have been occupied at hospitals run by the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which includes Westmorland General Hospital, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Furness General Hospital.

This is significantly higher than the NHS' recommended safe level of 85%. This recommendation is designed to avoid delays in getting treatment and minimise the risk of infection.

The most recent figures available show that on the 29th January more than 97% of beds were occupied. However, as little as three weeks ago, more than 99% of all beds were taken.

Tim said: "These figures show that our NHS is at breaking point. Local hospitals are simply stretched to capacity, and are under relentless pressure. It is patients needing treatment who will suffer, as they are left on trolleys in corridors waiting for beds that simply aren't there.

"Our local NHS urgently needs a cash boost from the government to help it get through the winter crisis, as well as extra funding for social care so elderly patients can be discharged. Instead, there are plans in the pipeline to cut £572million from health and care services in South Cumbria and Lancashire by 2021. The government is woefully out of touch with the reality on the ground of providing health services in our area.

"I will also continue to push for an Urgent Care Centre in Kendal, which would be able to deal with more serious cases than our current PCAS unit. This would enable more patients to be seen in Kendal rather than having to go to Lancaster or Barrow, and would help to relieve pressure on the A&E units there."