MP presses ministers to bring A&E back to Kendal hospital

First published in News

SOUTH Lakeland MP Tim Farron this morning used health questions in the House of Commons to press ministers to intervene to bring Accident and Emergency services back to Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital.

He raised concerns about the problems caused by long distances between South Cumbria communities and the nearest emergency unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary or Furness General Hospital at Barrow.

Mr Farron highlighted the potential health implications of having to travel sometimes up to two hours to the nearest emergency unit. He called on the Minister, Dan Poulter MP; to look into the problem in Morecambe Bay and encourage the trust to review its allocation of acute services across the region.

In response, the minister accepted that ‘the capitation formula has not recognised the fact that there are a lot of older people in rural areas and further distances to travel’, and agreed that the Government would look at the issue.

“The distances that some people across the south of Cumbria have to travel to reach their nearest emergency unit can be up to two hours which is incredibly dangerous, especially for elderly or critical patients," said Mr Farron.

“During the recent crisis at the hospital trust I suggested one way to alleviate pressure would be to increase the number of services at Westmorland General.

"The new management at the Trust have already shown welcome vision and competence. In the New Year we will have the opportunity to input into a review of services across Morecambe Bay.

"I want the trust to use the fresh start that these major reviews provide to bring back accident and emergency services to our hospital.

Comments (12)

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9:37pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Moonbase says...

Bring out the red tape again.We have been through all this before and the same will happen again.
I see so many ambulances going to lancaster from kendal i often wonder what the fuel bill must be?
I susspect it won't be far behind those useless Highways cars.
Good on Tim, a easy vote winning idea, but flawed.
Don't forget.... your not allowed to get old now, we are costing the tax payer too much money.Die on the way.
Give it another 2 years and it will be knocked down and there will be a wind farm there!!
That's how stupid these people are who are running things.
Tree hugging thicko's......
Bring out the red tape again.We have been through all this before and the same will happen again. I see so many ambulances going to lancaster from kendal i often wonder what the fuel bill must be? I susspect it won't be far behind those useless Highways cars. Good on Tim, a easy vote winning idea, but flawed. Don't forget.... your not allowed to get old now, we are costing the tax payer too much money.Die on the way. Give it another 2 years and it will be knocked down and there will be a wind farm there!! That's how stupid these people are who are running things. Tree hugging thicko's...... Moonbase
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Tue 27 Nov 12

KendalSmithy says...

I say good on you, Tim. If there's anybody who can get anything done to get the A&E - and other departments - back to WGH it's Tim, and if anything is likely to make that happen, Tim's doing it, and to the best of his ability.
I say good on you, Tim. If there's anybody who can get anything done to get the A&E - and other departments - back to WGH it's Tim, and if anything is likely to make that happen, Tim's doing it, and to the best of his ability. KendalSmithy
  • Score: 0

8:14am Wed 28 Nov 12

hogheaven says...

I also add my support for A & E returning to WGH, it should never have been removed,It was pushed through without any real consideration to its effect on local population another example of meddling from a useless trust. I think Tim Farron is doing a great job pity there are not more MP.s like him, we could turn round this once GREAT Britain
I also add my support for A & E returning to WGH, it should never have been removed,It was pushed through without any real consideration to its effect on local population another example of meddling from a useless trust. I think Tim Farron is doing a great job pity there are not more MP.s like him, we could turn round this once GREAT Britain hogheaven
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Kendal Jock says...

It would be the best thing for Kendal and district to have proper A&E facilities,and many others. But however! over some years now our Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has regularly been in the press,(Photo opportunities etc) leading marches and such over various causes including WGH issues. I may be slapped down for this! but does anyone actually know what he has achieved?
It would be the best thing for Kendal and district to have proper A&E facilities,and many others. But however! over some years now our Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has regularly been in the press,(Photo opportunities etc) leading marches and such over various causes including WGH issues. I may be slapped down for this! but does anyone actually know what he has achieved? Kendal Jock
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Ambience says...

Kendal Jock wrote:
It would be the best thing for Kendal and district to have proper A&E facilities,and many others. But however! over some years now our Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has regularly been in the press,(Photo opportunities etc) leading marches and such over various causes including WGH issues. I may be slapped down for this! but does anyone actually know what he has achieved?
He's achieved getting his photo in the Gazette several times weekly. He makes a lot of noise over various issues. But if we sit down and try to work out what he has actually achieved the answer is not a lot. he jumps on the bandwagon after someone else has done all the work.
[quote][p][bold]Kendal Jock[/bold] wrote: It would be the best thing for Kendal and district to have proper A&E facilities,and many others. But however! over some years now our Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has regularly been in the press,(Photo opportunities etc) leading marches and such over various causes including WGH issues. I may be slapped down for this! but does anyone actually know what he has achieved?[/p][/quote]He's achieved getting his photo in the Gazette several times weekly. He makes a lot of noise over various issues. But if we sit down and try to work out what he has actually achieved the answer is not a lot. he jumps on the bandwagon after someone else has done all the work. Ambience
  • Score: 0

6:44pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Desdan says...

If Tim Farron really wanted to get the A&E at Kendal reopened, then the best thing to do would be an online petition and force a debate in Parliament but, only if he really wanted to??
If Tim Farron really wanted to get the A&E at Kendal reopened, then the best thing to do would be an online petition and force a debate in Parliament but, only if he really wanted to?? Desdan
  • Score: 0

11:33pm Wed 28 Nov 12

KendalSmithy says...

Am I right in thinking that online petitions only force a debate in Parliament if they contain 100,000 or more signatures? Not exactly a realistic prospect for Kendal and district is it!
I'm sure Tim is keen to hear of any good ideas, but I don't think that is one.
Am I right in thinking that online petitions only force a debate in Parliament if they contain 100,000 or more signatures? Not exactly a realistic prospect for Kendal and district is it! I'm sure Tim is keen to hear of any good ideas, but I don't think that is one. KendalSmithy
  • Score: 0

8:41am Thu 29 Nov 12

Scots Guardsman says...

A "proper" Casualty Department with all the necessary supporting services and a round the clock availability is extremely expensive. If I understand the history correctly Kendal never had a "proper" Casualty - not least because it didn't have some sort of Intensive Care service on site so the best that could be done with anything serious was stabilise them and send them to Lancaster - and the time taken getting to Kendal and then going on again to Lancaster was judged more dangerous overall than simply going straight to Lancaster in the first place?

There is also the issue of cost. The Government (of which Tim Farron is a member don't forget) has told the Hospital Sector to make real terms cuts of 20% over the next 5 years in order to put the money somewhere else. It is difficult to see how the Trust can keep reducing its annual costs until they have 20% less money every year in five years time than they do today - and still fund a fully-fledged Casualty Department service at Kendal. Tim Farron must know this - after all he DID vote for the Coalition Health Bill and the implications were clearly spelt out at the time. This seems like another case of a local MP saying one thing locally i.e. "I'm agin it" and then voting for it in London in the hopes we won't notice.
A "proper" Casualty Department with all the necessary supporting services and a round the clock availability is extremely expensive. If I understand the history correctly Kendal never had a "proper" Casualty - not least because it didn't have some sort of Intensive Care service on site so the best that could be done with anything serious was stabilise them and send them to Lancaster - and the time taken getting to Kendal and then going on again to Lancaster was judged more dangerous overall than simply going straight to Lancaster in the first place? There is also the issue of cost. The Government (of which Tim Farron is a member don't forget) has told the Hospital Sector to make real terms cuts of 20% over the next 5 years in order to put the money somewhere else. It is difficult to see how the Trust can keep reducing its annual costs until they have 20% less money every year in five years time than they do today - and still fund a fully-fledged Casualty Department service at Kendal. Tim Farron must know this - after all he DID vote for the Coalition Health Bill and the implications were clearly spelt out at the time. This seems like another case of a local MP saying one thing locally i.e. "I'm agin it" and then voting for it in London in the hopes we won't notice. Scots Guardsman
  • Score: 0

11:05am Thu 29 Nov 12

KendalSmithy says...

Surely it's possible for an A&E unit to exist in Kendal even if it's not equipped with an intensive care ward? Think of all of the Ambulance journeys made to Lancaster for minor injuries which could be treated in Kendal for far less cost.
For an extended discussion on this topic you can visit and contribute at www.southlakeland.or
g.uk and check the Family, Health & Welfare section.
Surely it's possible for an A&E unit to exist in Kendal even if it's not equipped with an intensive care ward? Think of all of the Ambulance journeys made to Lancaster for minor injuries which could be treated in Kendal for far less cost. For an extended discussion on this topic you can visit and contribute at www.southlakeland.or g.uk and check the Family, Health & Welfare section. KendalSmithy
  • Score: 0

11:57am Thu 29 Nov 12

Scots Guardsman says...

KendalSmithy wrote:
Surely it's possible for an A&E unit to exist in Kendal even if it's not equipped with an intensive care ward? Think of all of the Ambulance journeys made to Lancaster for minor injuries which could be treated in Kendal for far less cost. For an extended discussion on this topic you can visit and contribute at www.southlakeland.or g.uk and check the Family, Health & Welfare section.
In answer to your question - probably not, not if it's a "proper" casualty unit, you also need theatres, x-rays and I imagine a lot of other things, all of which would have to be avaialable 24/7 or what's the point? To say Kendal "had" a casualty department I think is incorrect it was in truth probably never more than a minor injuries unit and perhaps very convenient when the GP surgery was closed. Its like when they called the new hospital Westmorland "General" Hospital when it was quite clear it met very few of the standards for a proper "General" hospital, but no doubt it sounded better than calling it Westmorland Cottage Hospital.

Now if you're saying there should be a Minor Injuries unit back in Kendal I don't disagree, indeed much of the thrust of Coalition Policy is have such things provided by GPs in large health centres with extended opening hours, and that would certainly be cheaper than going to Lancaster if you don't really need to. That could be located at Kendal Hospital - or maybe at another site closer to the town allowing people to walk-in.

Proper casualty departments are like an insurance policy - when you really need one you want fully comp, not third party - but fully comp costs money and there isn;t that much to go around as well Mr Farron knows.
[quote][p][bold]KendalSmithy[/bold] wrote: Surely it's possible for an A&E unit to exist in Kendal even if it's not equipped with an intensive care ward? Think of all of the Ambulance journeys made to Lancaster for minor injuries which could be treated in Kendal for far less cost. For an extended discussion on this topic you can visit and contribute at www.southlakeland.or g.uk and check the Family, Health & Welfare section.[/p][/quote]In answer to your question - probably not, not if it's a "proper" casualty unit, you also need theatres, x-rays and I imagine a lot of other things, all of which would have to be avaialable 24/7 or what's the point? To say Kendal "had" a casualty department I think is incorrect it was in truth probably never more than a minor injuries unit and perhaps very convenient when the GP surgery was closed. Its like when they called the new hospital Westmorland "General" Hospital when it was quite clear it met very few of the standards for a proper "General" hospital, but no doubt it sounded better than calling it Westmorland Cottage Hospital. Now if you're saying there should be a Minor Injuries unit back in Kendal I don't disagree, indeed much of the thrust of Coalition Policy is have such things provided by GPs in large health centres with extended opening hours, and that would certainly be cheaper than going to Lancaster if you don't really need to. That could be located at Kendal Hospital - or maybe at another site closer to the town allowing people to walk-in. Proper casualty departments are like an insurance policy - when you really need one you want fully comp, not third party - but fully comp costs money and there isn;t that much to go around as well Mr Farron knows. Scots Guardsman
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Thu 29 Nov 12

GResie says...

Kendal Jock wrote:
It would be the best thing for Kendal and district to have proper A&E facilities,and many others. But however! over some years now our Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has regularly been in the press,(Photo opportunities etc) leading marches and such over various causes including WGH issues. I may be slapped down for this! but does anyone actually know what he has achieved?
He's told us time and again the services he has brought to WGH, but in reality during his time as our MP there has been a serious decline in the services available there, which he has managed to brush over by his continual marches and petitions about all the things he is calling to happen, when in fact most of them were already agreed by the health trust and were going to happen whether or not he had a self publicising day on the streets. He then gets a second bite after he has presided over the decline by then 'calling for them to be re-instated'.

Having said that, small local hospitals are not able to offer the type of care we need. If I had a heart attack or something that required specific treayment I would prefer to go to a centre of expertise instead of a small local one that is a 'jack of all trades but master of none'. That takes nothing away from the care that WGH offers as my few experieces there have been nothing short of excellent, but specialising in services, as demonstrated by the recent nationwide children's heart scandal, ensures a better quality of care. Small hospitals like WGH can then offer minor casualty departments in conjunction with bigger doctors surgeries such as the new one in Kendal and possible new one in Grange.

But I'm sure many will disagree and fail to see through the smokescreen our MP continues to throw up. I wonder how many of his campaigns/petitions/
calls for action have actually resulted in anything being done (as no one remembers the failures), bar getting him a few more columns in the Gazette
[quote][p][bold]Kendal Jock[/bold] wrote: It would be the best thing for Kendal and district to have proper A&E facilities,and many others. But however! over some years now our Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has regularly been in the press,(Photo opportunities etc) leading marches and such over various causes including WGH issues. I may be slapped down for this! but does anyone actually know what he has achieved?[/p][/quote]He's told us time and again the services he has brought to WGH, but in reality during his time as our MP there has been a serious decline in the services available there, which he has managed to brush over by his continual marches and petitions about all the things he is calling to happen, when in fact most of them were already agreed by the health trust and were going to happen whether or not he had a self publicising day on the streets. He then gets a second bite after he has presided over the decline by then 'calling for them to be re-instated'. Having said that, small local hospitals are not able to offer the type of care we need. If I had a heart attack or something that required specific treayment I would prefer to go to a centre of expertise instead of a small local one that is a 'jack of all trades but master of none'. That takes nothing away from the care that WGH offers as my few experieces there have been nothing short of excellent, but specialising in services, as demonstrated by the recent nationwide children's heart scandal, ensures a better quality of care. Small hospitals like WGH can then offer minor casualty departments in conjunction with bigger doctors surgeries such as the new one in Kendal and possible new one in Grange. But I'm sure many will disagree and fail to see through the smokescreen our MP continues to throw up. I wonder how many of his campaigns/petitions/ calls for action have actually resulted in anything being done (as no one remembers the failures), bar getting him a few more columns in the Gazette GResie
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Thu 29 Nov 12

KendalSmithy says...

Why not continue this debate in a proper discussion forum? Try
www.southlakeland.or
g.uk
where there's lots more for local amateur politicians and healthcare experts to get their teeth into.
Why not continue this debate in a proper discussion forum? Try www.southlakeland.or g.uk where there's lots more for local amateur politicians and healthcare experts to get their teeth into. KendalSmithy
  • Score: 0

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