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Cumbria NHS: think before you call

Cumbria Health on Call urges patients to get organised Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Cumbria's out of hours medics are asking patients to think before calling this New Year, and to make sure they have transport available.

Cumbria Health on Call dealt with 4,521 calls between Christmas Eve and 8.00am on 29 December. They're expecting to be similarly busy over the New Year period.

Once they've taken basic details over the phone, they arrange for an on-call doctor to ring the patient. If necessary, they'll book them an appointment at an on-call clinic.

But transport and home visits are only provided if a patient is too ill to travel themselves, or has special requirements.

And they're advising people only to call if they need urgent medical attention.

The telephone number for medical assistance out of hours is 03000 247 247.

“The service is expected to be extremely busy so please ensure you telephone first and do not walk in to any of the treatment centres. CHoC needs to be able to reach the very ill patients quickly."

– Susan Blakemore, Managing Director of Cumbria Health on Call

Branthwaite nursing home to close

Care home provider Executive Care has announced that it is closing Branthwaite Nursing Home in Workington.

The care company terminated its contracts with Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

“Senior management at Branthwaite tried to maintain a sustainable operation but believe they are in danger of quickly getting to a position where a safe and professional care environment can no longer be guaranteed for residents.

"The safety and wellbeing of residents is paramount for Executive Care, Cumbria County Council and the CCG.

“There have been a number of long-term and more recent issues that Executive Care has been unable to resolve.

"A recruitment campaign earlier this year met with some success but recent changes to the local healthcare job market has resulted in an increase in staff turnover.

“All three organisations have met and agreed an action plan where the 29 residents are transferred to alternative local care homes. Social services and health have successfully managed similar situations several times in the past.

“Executive Care has met with staff, residents and their relatives."

"On Wednesday senior management at Branthwaite along with a team from health and social care will be meeting residents and families to fully explain the situation, the next steps and points of contact for support.

"Each resident will be allocated a named social worker to manage the transfer and options for relocation to a suitable, alternative home.

“Executive Care is working with staff to secure alternative employment for them. Where possible they will be offered transfers to posts across other homes in the group."

– Statement from Executive Care, Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

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NHS Cumbria says 'more can be done' on stillbirths and infant mortality

A report has found that although the number of stillbirths and infant mortality cases in Cumbria are declining, more can still be done to prevent deaths.

The NHS Cumbria report shows the county has fewer perinatal deaths than the national average, but urges local hospitals and expectant mothers to help reduce the number further.

The research panel have recommended that tackling lifestyle issues such as smoking and obesity can help give the mother and child the best chance of survival.

They also suggest that local hospitals carry out more individual case reviews in order to learn from what has happened.

"The number of babies in Cumbria who die shortly before or soon after birth is a tiny proportion of 5,000 births which take place in the county each year.

"The findings from this research are clear in demonstrating the damaging and destructive impact a poor lifestyle can have on a healthy pregnancy. More must be done to reduce smoking and obesity in particular, if we are to see greater improvements in the health of mothers and babies."

– Professor John Ashton, Cumbria Medical Director

Keswick hospital upgrade: Full report

Work has begun on a major renovation of Keswick Hospital.

It's part of a drive by NHS Cumbria to bring standards in community hospitals to new national levels.

The development will increase the range of services and cut down the number of patients having to travel long distances for simple procedures.

Ryan Dollard has the full report:

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People can discuss alcohol issues

People across Cumbria will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns they have about alcohol, during a live webchat.

The chat is part of alcohol awareness week and offers people the chance to discuss issues such as the effect alcohol has, and drink driving laws.

The chat will take place between 10am and 12pm, with representatives from NHS Cumbria and Cumbria Police responding to questions.

People can join in by visiting the Cumbria Police website.

The complete webchat will be posted online afterwards.