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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.

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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

Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust set for special measures

The Chief Inspector of hospitals in England has recommended that the NHS trust that runs the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal be placed into special measures.

The Westmorland General was found to be providing a good overall service Credit: ITV Border

It follows a series of inspections that found that the quality of care at two of its hospitals needed improvement, although the Westmorland General itself was providing a good service overall.

The county's two other main hospitals are already in special measures.

Help at hand with new pilot health check service

If you are unfortunate enough to be living with a chronic disease you will know that one of the most important things is having your health and your condition monitored on a regular basis.

However, getting to your GP surgery or hospital can be difficult, especially if you live in a rural area.

Now though, help could be on the way for some people in South West Scotland.

A pilot project to help people with lung disease carry out their own checks has been launched.

It is called the Annan Remote Monitoring test, and Lori Carnochan went to find out more.

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Hospitals issue warning over visiting A&E unnecessarily

Health bosses in Cumbria are urging people not to use hospital A and E departments unless it is a genuine emergency.

The pressures on A and E are heightened over the winter months, and non-emergency cases can clog up the system... but what exactly is an emergency?

Matthew Taylor has been to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle to find out.

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