I WANT to say thank you to the many thousands of Westmorland Gazette readers who backed our campaign to bring an urgent treatment centre to our hospital here in Kendal.

That we have won this campaign at the same time as the Government is making such huge cuts is an amazing achievement against the odds.

As a result of our campaign, the excellent PCAS/minor injuries unit at Westmorland General will be upgraded this spring.

What this means for us as patients is that more ambulances will be able to stop at Kendal, rather than having to take people to A&E at Lancaster or Barrow; it means that more of us in South Lakeland will be able to get urgent treatment at Westmorland General than is the case now; it also means that there should be fewer people being squeezed through Lancaster’s over-burdened A&E unit.

As well as saying thank you to everyone who backed our campaign, we should all be incredibly grateful to the nurses and doctors of the current minor injuries unit. More than anything, it is down to their care, professionalism and commitment that NHS England have agreed to give the unit this increased status and resource.

As we campaign for better cancer services, mental health care and for a fair deal for carers, we should be really encouraged by this success.

Many hospitals around England are seeing their emergency centres downgraded. It is a mark of our determination to fight for our hospital here that sees us secure this important upgrade.

I am so grateful to you for your support, it has made a big difference.

Tim Farron

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP