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Thousands protest loss of West Cumberland Hospital services

Credit: ITV Border

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Whitehaven yesterday to protest the loss of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Campaigners want some services to be brought back to the town after they were moved to Carlisle.

But the Trust which runs the West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary has said it's committed to the future of both hospitals.

Calls for more Cumbrian blood donors

Library picture Credit: PA

An appeal is being made for blood donors across Cumbria, after it was revealed that 40% fewer new volunteers came forward across England and North Wales compared to a decade ago.

As part of the national Blood Donor week, the organisation is calling for more people to help fill the gaps in the county.

"We simply can't ignore the fact that there has been a stark reduction in the number of new donors coming forward - a trend seen across the world. While we can meet the needs of patients now, it's important we strengthen the donor base for the future.

"If we don't attract new people across England and North Wales to donate it will put more pressure on the ability to provide the right type of blood the NHS needs for patients in the future."

– Jon Latham, NHS Blood and Transplant


Protest held over West Cumberland Hospital services

People have been gathering in Whitehaven for a protest march about a loss of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

They say they're angry that services transferred to Carlisle, while the new hospital was being built, will not return when the new facility opens later this year.

However, the hospital trust insists the changes have saved lives.

"It's our duty to ensure we provide safe, high quality patient care for the people we serve.

"The independent evidence is now very clear that following changes made to transfer very small numbers of seriously ill patients to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, more lives are now being saved.

"We very much look forward to the opening of our new state-of-the-art hospital later this year.'

– North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Positive feedback for North Cumbria NHS Trust

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust Credit: ITV News

Feedback from patients about the NHS Trust that runs the West Cumberland Hospital, and Cumberland Infirmary, has been largely positive.

That's according to a national inpatient survey, published by the Care Quality Commission.

The Trust's rating for overall view of inpatient services was 8 out of 10, an increase of 0.2 on last year.

It scored similarly to other trusts on the majority of questions, but was particularly impressive in two sections:

Delays to discharge
Not feeling threatened by other patients and visitors

Other high scores included:

  • 9.5 - not having to share a sleeping area with patients of the opposite sex
  • 9.1 - receiving an understandable explanation about how they would be put to sleep or their pain controlled
  • 9.0 - for nurses not talking in front of them, as if they weren't there

On one question, the Trust did score worse than the majority of other Trusts.

For patients being given enough privacy when being examined or treated, it scored 9.1.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete this questionnaire – feedback of this kind is vital to the Trust to enable us to continue making the improvements needed to give our patients the best possible care.

These results give us many reasons to be positive but also highlight some areas we need to focus on to ensure every patient receives the standard of safe, responsive care they deserve.”

– Executive director for nursing and midwifery, Gail Naylor

'It's all about the volunteers'

Hundreds of pupils in Cumbria have spent the day participating in the finals of the county's School Games.

Event manager Nicola Maclean says the day requires a lot of organisation, from securing a venue to making sure each competitor arrives.

She says such a big operation couldn't happen without those who volunteer to help out.

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