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Penrith takes first steps to be a 'dementia friendly town'

Credit: ITV Border

A major initiative to tackle concerns about the treatment of people with dementia in Penrith is being launched today.

It aims to encourage local businesses and other organisation to understand the condition, which affects around 8000 people in Cumbria.

One idea is to have companies train their staff as Dementia Friends - a course run by the Alzheimer's Society which helps people to understand more about the condition.

Maternity changes 'not black and white', says senior doctor

One of the county's most senior doctors has admitted many of his colleagues have "reservations" about proposed changes to maternity services in West Cumbria.

Dr John Howarth is Deputy Chief Executive of the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

He was giving his personal opinion at a public meeting in Maryport to discuss various options for the future of healthcare in Cumbria.

People running the NHS say their preferred option is a midwife-led unit at the West Cumberland Hospital meaning many more pregnant woman would have to travel to Carlisle to give birth.


Campaigners 'play dead' to protest against maternity changes

Campaigners opposing plans to downgrade maternity services in west Cumbria have dressed up as corpses in front of a meeting of health bosses.

The Success Regime - appointed by the government to improve healthcare in Cumbria - is considering removing consultant-led maternity care from the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

They are holding public meetings across the county as part of a consultation into the plans, and protestors gathered outside one of the meetings in Whitehaven.

Protestors dressed as corpses outside a Success Regime meeting. Credit: ITV Border
Protestors dressed as corpses outside a Success Regime meeting. Credit: ITV Border
Protestors dressed as corpses outside a Success Regime meeting. Credit: ITV Border


International artist completes latest project with help from Cumbrian hospice

Hospice patients painted by Julia Stanton Credit: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

An international artist has completed her latest project with the help of Penrith Day Hospice patients.

Julia Stanton, who works across Europe and America, chose Penrith for her latest challenge in which she created a series of oil paintings of the Hospice patients as part of “The Hospice Project”.

Julia has spent almost a year completing the paintings as she encouraged the patients to chat while she sketched so that each portrait could highlight the individual’s personality and movement.

“This has been a transformative and extremely rewarding project. I set up my easel in the hospice day room, and each week painted a different subject. I’ve developed a great affection for the people who come to spend the day and these portraits will be part of their legacies.

“The Penrith Hospice is a hidden treasure, a lovely friendly and welcoming place for people who are sharing real challenges, and it is staffed by the nicest group of people one can imagine in health care.”

– Julia Stanton

Health Minister meets campaigners at West Cumberland Hospital

Philip Dunne toured the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven today. Credit: PA

Minister of State for Health, Philip Dunne, arrived in Whitehaven today to tour the West Cumberland Hospital.

He was met by around 50 protesters outside the site and said it was a welcome opportunity to hear the views of local campaigners:

“Today’s visit was a welcome opportunity for me to hear first-hand the views of local campaigners and staff in Cumbria.

“A public consultation began last week, so I encourage local people to get involved and make their voices heard. This will help local NHS leaders to be better informed to make the best decisions for Cumbria. After all, we all want the same thing – patients to receive the highest quality care sustainable for the future.”

– Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Health
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