Cumbria Crack

MP’s ambulance shift leads to bid to make best use of hospital upgrade

Tim Farron MP and the ambulance crew in Kendal

[L]ocal MP Tim Farron joined ambulance technicians and paramedics, spending a shift out on a North West Ambulance from Kendal’s ambulance station.

Tim’s aim was to get a clearer picture of the challenges the local ambulance service faces and to find out what he can do to improve their situation.

Over the day, it became clear that the introduction of an Urgent Treatment Centre at Westmorland General Hospital was welcomed by the crews but that for it to be able to take a great deal more people, there would need to be a 24hr GP available on site and 24 hour x-ray and pathlab services.

Tim has written to Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust’s chief executive Aaron Cummins to make the case for these services to be provided at Westmorland General.

Tim said: “I’m extremely grateful for the North West ambulance team for letting me join them for a shift on one of their ambulances.”

“I was impressed not just by their professional skill, but by the remarkable care they provide for people at a very distressful time.

“It gave me a clearer picture of the problems they face and was also a reminder of the colossal journeys they have to take across our large and rural area.

“The time they spend on the road is huge which is frustrating to ambulance crews and explains why they want to be able to take people to the hospital in Kendal where that is appropriate.

“That’s why I want to ensure that the Hospital Trust considers introducing overnight GP, x-ray and pathlab services which would cut ambulance journeys and allow more people to be treated closer to home.”

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