YOUNG people in South Cumbria struggling with mental health issues look set to be offered an extended service.

The news comes following Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron raising the issue with secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Farron called on Mr Hunt to back his campaign to extend out-of-hours crisis teams that exist in the north of the county to include the south of Cumbria.

Currently, young people in the South Lakes can only access the specialist mental health crisis team from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.

However, the crisis team in the north of the county is open from 9am to 8pm, with a weekend service from 10am to 1pm.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday (February 6) Mr Farron said: “Specialist mental health crisis care for young people in South Cumbria is only available between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

"Will he (Jeremy Hunt) agree with me in the light of the damning CQC report into the Partnership Trust that this is not acceptable. Will he join me with me in asking the CCG in Morecambe Bay to make sure there is out of hours and weekend care for all people?”

In response, Jeremy Hunt said that he was happy to look into the issue, saying that to achieve 'parity of esteem', people needed to be able to get help in a mental health crisis just as they would when something goes wrong with their physical health.

Mr Farron's comments came following a CQC report into Cumbria Partnership Trust which found that the ‘responsiveness’ of youth mental health services had fallen from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘inadequate’.

Stephen Eames, chief executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said the trust is working with Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group to provide an out-of-hours service for child and adolescent mental health services in south Cumbria in line with the service provided in north Cumbria.

"We expect this to be in this place in the next few weeks," he said. "We had a very constructive discussion with Tim Farron MP this morning and we are grateful for his support in campaigning to improve the provision of support for young people in Cumbria."