AMBULANCE bosses failed to keep a promise to allow paramedics more flexibility over where to take patients for treatment, Tim Farron has claimed.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP complained to North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) after paramedics and hospital staff told him of their “exasperation” with current procedures.

Under existing rules, paramedics must follow computer-generated instructions which has meant patients being taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) when they could be treated at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH).

Mr Farron said he was told in January the system would be changed to allow paramedics more flexibility where patients were not seriously iill or injured.

However, the MP claims NWAS failed to implement new training and procedures so this could happen.

“NWAS bosses have broken a promise and are being unbelievably unbureaucratic. As a result RLI is being overburdened with patients who are not seriously ill or injured while WGH’s minor injuries unit is being underused.”

NWAS acting chief executive Bob Williams said: “Now that new services at the Westmorland General Hospital are in place, NWAS will be working with colleagues at NHS Cumbria and other healthcare professionals to examine the feasibility of taking more ambulance patients to the hospital where it is appropriate and safe to do so.”