A meeting of a new health forum to discuss changes to hospital services in West Cumbria has got underway.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed is at the meeting in Whitehaven along with representatives of several health organisations including Dr David Rogers Medical Director of Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Dr Jeremy Rushmer Medical Director of North Cumbria Hospitals NHS Trust.
Campaigners against the plans to move some services from The West Cumberland Hospital to Carlisle are also at the meeting.
It will provide a formal platform for dialogue and discussions around the plans to change health care services across West Cumbria.
The first meeting for a group to discuss the future of the West Cumberland Hospital says it will "hear the voice of the people of West Cumbria people."
It's going to decide on exactly how people's views can be better represented.
Healthwatch Cumbria have published the proposed draft terms of reference for the forum which are:
The West Cumbria Community Forum’s key functions will be to provide an additional opportunity to hear the voice of the people of west Cumbria, provide further opportunities for discussion and explore ways of ensuring that opportunities for community engagement are optimised.
The Forum will be chaired by Venerable Dr. Richard Pratt.
The Forum will be facilitated by Healthwatch Cumbria.
The members of the Forum will agree the Terms of Reference and consider and fill any gaps in membership.
The Forum will meet at times and intervals to be agreed by its membership.
The membership will include representatives of local people, including those who have already acted as champions in West Cumbria, local MPs and representatives from the three tiers of elected members, parish, district, county, local communities, third sector provider organisations through the Third Sector Executive and the Action for Health Network, and Commissioners and Provider organisations from the health and social care sector.
Issues discussed at the Forum will be pre-identified, (as far as is possible), by the nominated representatives and through ongoing engagement, including a series of Roadshows taking place in local towns and villages across west Cumbria.
Representatives will be required to ensure that matters discussed and information shared during the Forum meetings are shared with those communities that they are representing.
A range of mechanisms will be used to ensure that Forum meetings are conducted in the spirit of openness and transparency, that they are well publicised and that information from the meetings is shared. This will include press releases, the HWC website, CCG and NCUHT websites and other social media methods.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed and health organisations will be meeting today to discuss the future of services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.
4,000 people met in October at a public meeting to discuss the matter.
The latest forum is being held at the Copeland Centre at 2 o'clock and is being hosted by Healthwatch Cumbria.
A change to the Scottish drink-drive limit means the amount of alcohol a driver can legally have in their system is now lower in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders than it is in Cumbria.
We sent Katie Hunter for lunchtime drinks with three willing volunteers and a breathalyser. The breathalyser unit had been converted to give readings in mg/100ml.
The tests may not have been scientific. Even so, the results surprised our lunch party.
A little girl from West Cumbria is learning to walk without help for the first time after a life-changing operation.
5-year-old Isabelle Pears had the procedure on her spine ten days ago and is already making progress.
Her operation is part of a clinical trial that could see many more children with cerebral palsy benefit.
Matthew Taylor reports.
"Having this new technology, and the mobile technology that will be part of the system, will mean that wherever we are in Cumbria, whether we are in a community hospital or a patient's home or a clinic setting we will have access to the very latest, up to date information about that patients health, right at our fingertips, and we have never had that before. So it makes a difference to the patient, we have the most up to date prescriptions, assessment results that may have been done by colleagues, test results, right there when we see the patient when we need them."
The Trust that runs the NHS in Cumbria has invested £10 million in new technology.
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust hope the investment will lead to savings of £30 million in the future.
It will allow health providers to access patient information quickly. The Trust hope the new infrastructure will improve patient care.
Accident and emergency departments at West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary are improving, according to the Care Quality Commission's national patient survey.
The hospitals, run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, showed improvements in six questions, including waiting times, opportunities for relatives to speak to a doctor and receiving prompt attention from staff when needed.
They were listed as 'average' in seven of the eight categories, and 'above' average in the eighth.
- Arrival at A&E - 8.2/10 - Average
- Waiting times - 7.0/10 - Above
- Doctors and nurses - 8.4/10 - Average
- Care and treatment - 8.0/10 - Average
- Tests - 8.2/10 - Average
- Hospital environment and facilities - 8.4/10 - Average
- Leaving A&E - 6.1/10 - Average
- Experience overall - 8.6/10 - Average
315 people who had attended one of the Trust’s A&E departments between January and March 2014 took the survey.
The results will be used in the regulation, monitoring and inspection of the Trust.
But, the Trust is aware that in recent weeks the 95% emergency care standard (patients being seen, treated and admitted or discharged from A&E within four hours) was not maintained, and dropped to 85% in October.
“We are delighted with the 2014 results, showing improvement in almost every area and being rated as one of the best performing hospitals in some areas, particularly for waiting times.
“Our emergency departments have been very busy in recent weeks, with high numbers of people attending and our clinical teams have consistently showed their dedication and commitment to their patients. The survey demonstrates real progress for the teams in both of our hospitals who are working hard to provide a safe, caring and compassionate service.”
Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson visited Carlisle and Lockerbie today to meet with police and road safety officers.
He wants to make sure the message about the new legal limit, which will be reduced from 80 milligramms to 50 per 100 millilitres of blood, gets through to those who matter.
Jenny Longden reports.
Police Scotland has released a video warnings motorists about the change in the law that will see Scotland have a lower drink-driving limit, drivers who have had a drink and cross the border are in danger of breaking the law.