SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron believes that Westmorland General Hospital may be one step closer to a new urgent care centre.

From December 1, the hospital's Primary Care Assessment Service will be managed operationally by the Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust rather than Cumbria Partnership Trust.

This change is taking place ahead of the winter period, so that emergency and urgent care services across the Bay are managed by the same Trust.

Mr Farron believes this handover allow health bosses to 'change the balance' of where patients get treated for particular conditions.

“This is welcome news ahead of the NHS’s most challenging time of year," he said.

“It also presents us with a golden opportunity to resubmit our bid to bring an Urgent Care Centre to Westmorland General Hospital.

“This would not only provide urgent care closer to home for South Lakes residents, but it would also help to relieve pressure on the A&E units at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital and ensure that ambulances are not stuck waiting there in long queues.”