Live updates


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.

Kelso hospital re-opens to new inpatients

Credit: PA

The inpatient ward at Kelso Hospital has re-opened following recent cases of confirmed norovirus at the end of November.

The hospital is urging visitors to pay attention to prevention notices throughout the ward and to comply with medical staff.

Although the Borders General Hospital and our Community Hospitals currently have no ward closures this can change very quickly. In order to safeguard vulnerable patients and enable us to limit the spread of this highly infectious virus, we continue to ask members of the public to carefully consider their visits to the hospital, and that anyone who has experienced diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms in the past 48 hours does not visit the hospital."

– Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute services

Eight boys taken to hospital after taking pink tablets

Police in the Borders have issued a drugs warning after eight boys, all under 16, were left in hospital as a result of taking an unidentified pink tablet.

They are said to have experienced significant adverse effects and are being treated in the Borders General Hospital. The police say some of the tablets may still be in circulation in the area.

Inspector Calum Welsh, who is based at Melrose Police Station, said: “These recent and unfortunate incidents highlight the significant dangers of taking non-prescribed drugs.

“It is clear that the, as yet unidentified, pink tablets are extremely potent and should be avoided at all costs.

“We believe there are more tablets circulating, particularly in the Hawick area, and my message to the public is to stay vigilant.

“I would urge anyone who has taken the tablet and who feels unwell, or knows anyone who appears unwell after taking the substance to please seek medical treatment as soon as possible.”

Funding agreed for £270m Dumfries hospital

The main entrance Credit: High Wood Health

Funding has been agreed for a new acute hospital on the outskirts of Dumfries.

It'll provide mainly short term and emergency care for patients in the region, and will include 350 beds, all of which will be en suite, a combined assessment unit, theatres complex, critical care unit and out patients department.

Single en suit rooms will be provided. Credit: High Wood Health

Preparations have started for the first construction work on the £270 million project, and it's expected to open to patients towards the end of 2017.


10-year-old writes to Prime Minister to save hospital

A 10-year-old girl from Cumbria has written to the Prime Minister asking him to secure the future of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Maddy Snell wrote a letter after attending a protest meeting in Whitehaven last week, along with thousands of other campaigners.

Health bosses want to reassure Maddy there's no chance of the hospital closing and only high risk operations have been moved away for safety reasons. But campaigners say there is still uncertainty over the future of other services.

Katie Oakes reports

Prime Minister - #AnswerMaddy

Maddy's letter to the Prime Minister Credit: Maddy Snell

A 10-year-old girl who was treated for pneumonia at West Cumberland Hospital has written to the Prime Minister asking for his help to save some of its services.

Maddy Snell heard about plans to move some services to Carlisle, 40 miles from Whitehaven, and when her mother said she was going to write to David Cameron, Maddy wanted to write too.

"We all need West Cumberland Hospital because say if someone was playing in the park and broke their arm, they would have to go all the way to Carlisle. Carlisle is a very long way to travel, especially to hospital."

– Maddy Snell

And she's determined for an answer from the Prime Minister.

"Everyone says you won't listen, but my mummy says if you believe in something and work hard you can achieve it, so I hope it means you will listen,"

– Maddy Snell

Her mother, Emma-Jayne Gooch, told ITV Border how proud of Maddy she is.

"I am extremely proud of Maddy. I am delighted by what she put in, and she really hopes he will listen to her. Three years ago, Maddy had pneumonia, and was treated overnight at West Cumberland hospital and they were great, and I was able to stay with her. I have another daughter so it would have been very tricky to take her to Carlisle."

– Emma-Jayne Gooch

Health officials say they understand the concerns of the people who demonstrated in west Cumbria last night but say they need to ensure services are safe and save lives.

The North Cumbria NHS Trust says only high risk operations have been moved, because of a lack of qualified staff in Whitehaven, and mortality rates have fallen as a result.

Big turnout 'sign of frustration'

Copeland's MP Jamie Reed says a huge demonstration in Whitehaven last night against health service changes is "a sign of frustration."

Around four thousand people went to the town's rugby league ground to question health officials about their plans for the new West Cumberland Hospital, which is nearly finished in the town. They're worried that some services are being transferred to Carlisle.

The North Cumbria NHS Trust says only high risk operations have been moved, because of a lack of qualified staff in Whitehaven, and mortality rates have fallen as a result.

But Jamie Reed says west Cumbria is not getting the hospital it was promised and the trust hasn't been honest or accountable. He says the demonstration should force health officials to change.

'Disappointing' that Morecambe Bay trust in special measures

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has said that it is "disappointing" that he has had to put the Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust into special measures.

“There is a long history of concern with the quality of service provided by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust – so it is disappointing to report that a number of the issues that have been identified in the past remain unresolved.

“I do not believe that the trust is likely to resolve its challenges without external support. This is why I am recommending that the trust is placed in to special measures."

– Professor Sir Mike Richards
Load more updates