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A&E pressure shows need for Kendal Urgent Care Centre - Farron

February 16, 2017 5:39 PM

Figures released today show that the A&E units at local hospitals are under enormous pressure, meaning patients wait twice as long for an initial assessment as the national average. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has said this underscores the need for an Urgent Care Centre in Kendal to help relieve the pressure.

It shows that patients arriving at the A&E units at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Furness General Hospital in emergency ambulances wait an average of 15 minutes for their initial assessment. This is more than double the average time for England as a whole. The longest wait for an initial assessment was over 13 hours, with a patient waiting 804 minutes.

The average total time spent in these A&E units was also above the national average, coming to 154 minutes, while the longest stay was over 21 hours. In November, around 350 patients ended up spending more than 7 hours in A&E.

Tim is calling for an Urgent Care Centre to be set up in Kendal. At the moment, ambulance staff estimate that only around 1% of ambulance calls - around one ambulance per day - is able to go to Kendal. Patients can only be dropped off in Kendal between 8.30-22.00hrs. A 24hr Urgent Care Centre in Kendal which could deal with more serious cases would see this figure increase significantly, meaning only the most serious cases would have to go to the full A&E at Lancaster.

Tim said: "These statistics are further proof of the need to set up an Urgent Care Centre at the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, to help relieve the pressure on the full A&E units elsewhere. Local NHS staff are incredibly dedicated and hard-working, but it is clear that local A&E units are stretched to capacity.

"An Urgent Care Centre in Kendal would ensure shorter journey times for South Lakes residents and mean that the full A&E units elsewhere could focus on dealing with only the most serious cases. Local NHS staff are backing this plan because it would help to relieve pressure on the system as a whole while providing care closer to home for local residents."