AN ELEVENTH-hour plea to retain an overnight Kendal doctor during the week has failed.

Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC) will start a 'pilot period' on Monday where there will no longer be a Kendal doctor overnight from Tuesday to Thursday next week. 

Despite a petition presented to CHoC signed by hundreds of residents, the service will no longer commission a GP at the Westmorland General Hospital between the hours of 2am to 8am in the middle of the week. A GP stationed in a hospital overnight can be on standby to cover urgent treatment for patients with palliative or home care needs. 

CHoC and Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board argued the service can be adequately covered by doctors stationed at Furness General in Barrow and Penrith and Eden Community Hospital. 

The South Lakes MP Tim Farron, who set up the petition, claimed this would significantly increase travel times for patients in the area. 

READ MORE: Health bosses speak out on CHoC on-call GP service

He made a final plea to keep the service at Westmorland General.

"I’m deeply disappointed that CHoC have taken this step and I fear for the quality of service they will provide to vulnerable people including those needing palliative care,” he said.

“That’s why I am making a final appeal to senior health bosses to block this cut to our local health services.

“It’s really important - if CHoC insist on doing this pilot cut - that local residents make their voices heard so please do get in touch and let me know about your experiences.”

Despite this, the ICB remains satisfied that CHoC can fulfill its duty of care to patients in the area.

Peter Tinson, director of primary care said: "We are aware of Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC) plans, have reviewed the information provided and received assurances that patient care will not be adversely impacted by these changes.

“We however understand the concerns raised and we are committed to working with CHoC, local GP practices and other partners to monitor the impact of these changes to ensure people living across south Cumbria, no matter what part of the area they are in, get the care that they require.”