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Beds to be temporarily closed at Alston hospital

Beds will be temporarily closed. Credit: PA

From the 17 April, inpatient beds at Alston's community hospital will be temporarily closed, because of staffing problems.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, says that despite national and local recruitment campaigns, there continues to be a number of vacancies at the hospital.

It says current staff have cancelled their planned holidays, are coming in to work on their days off, and are frequently working additional hours.

To minimise the impact of closing the six beds, staff will focus on providing a community-based service, caring for people at home.

The nurse-led treatment centre opening times will also change from 24/7 to being open 8am to 11pm.

The day hospital, GP surgery and outpatient department will all continue to run as normal.

It is unclear when the temporary bed closure will end.

Councillors on Cumbria's Health Scrutiny Committee have already voted through proposals to permanently close inpatient beds at Alston, Wigton and Maryport community hospitals, however the Trust says this permanent closure will not happen until "robust alternatives" are in place.

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Biker air-lifted to hospital with serious injuries

The Great North Air Ambulance in Alston Credit: Great North Air Ambulance

A man has been airlifted to hospital after falling from his motorbike near Alston

The 68-year-old suffered serious chest injuries.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAA) was called to the incident at 3.30pm yesterday (August 30), and the doctor-led trauma team assessed and treated the patient before he was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

GNAA say the flight took 10 minutes and he arrived in a stable condition.

Beds and staff transferred from cottage hospital

Beds and inpatient staff are being transferred to Brampton. Credit: ITV Border

A community hospital in Cumbria will temporarily lose one of its services from today.

All inpatient beds, along with staff from the unit, at the Ruth Lancaster Cottage Hospital in Alston, are being transferred to Brampton.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust says it is because of staff shortages in the department.

The Trust says it hopes to re-open it in September.

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Alston schools could be merged

Three schools in Alston could be merged. Credit: ITV Border

People in Alston want the area's secondary school and two primary schools to be merged, according to a consultation.

Earlier this year Cumbria County Council carried out an informal consultation to consider the future of Samuel King’s, Nenthead and Alston schools.

It got almost 350 responses, and 59.4 percent favoured the creation of one 'all-through' school, where

That was because the number of pupils at the schools has fallen, and current arrangements are not sustainable.

“We’re going through this process to safeguard the future of secondary education in Alston Moor because falling numbers of pupils means the current arrangements are not sustainable.

“I’d like to thank local people for giving us their views and taking the time to get involved in the informal consultation.

“Any change will require further consultation prior to decisions being taken and the community will be kept informed throughout that process.”

– Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Schools and Learning

A working group will now be established to research the proposals.

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