A hospital trust has been criticised for having as few as four consultants on one weekend last year to cope with 485 beds and two accident and emergency wards.
The North Cumbria Trust says it uses an on-call system to cope with demand.
Matthew Taylor reports.
Concerns have been raised over consultant cover on weekends at hospitals in North Cumbria.
According to a new report, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has had as few as four consultants on duty on a Saturday and Sunday to cover 485 patients and two accident and emergencies.
Jeremy Rushmer, Interim Medical Director at the trust, said: "Surgery in North Cumbria is run as an on-call service with consultant surgeons available in all sub-specialties 24/7 as opposed to a 'shift system'.
"This allows complete cover over a longer period of time with the limited consultant workforce available.
"This is the standard approach nationally and we comply fully with all Royal College of Surgeons and Association of Surgeons guidelines and recommendations."
The medical director for the North Cumbria NHS Trust, Mike Walker, told ITV Border that they've struggled to work under difficult circumstances: