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A&E departments 'improving' in North Cumbria

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has improved. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Accident and emergency departments at West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary are improving, according to the Care Quality Commission's national patient survey.

The hospitals, run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, showed improvements in six questions, including waiting times, opportunities for relatives to speak to a doctor and receiving prompt attention from staff when needed.

They were listed as 'average' in seven of the eight categories, and 'above' average in the eighth.

  • Arrival at A&E - 8.2/10 - Average
  • Waiting times - 7.0/10 - Above
  • Doctors and nurses - 8.4/10 - Average
  • Care and treatment - 8.0/10 - Average
  • Tests - 8.2/10 - Average
  • Hospital environment and facilities - 8.4/10 - Average
  • Leaving A&E - 6.1/10 - Average
  • Experience overall - 8.6/10 - Average

315 people who had attended one of the Trust’s A&E departments between January and March 2014 took the survey.

The results will be used in the regulation, monitoring and inspection of the Trust.

But, the Trust is aware that in recent weeks the 95% emergency care standard (patients being seen, treated and admitted or discharged from A&E within four hours) was not maintained, and dropped to 85% in October.

“We are delighted with the 2014 results, showing improvement in almost every area and being rated as one of the best performing hospitals in some areas, particularly for waiting times.

“Our emergency departments have been very busy in recent weeks, with high numbers of people attending and our clinical teams have consistently showed their dedication and commitment to their patients. The survey demonstrates real progress for the teams in both of our hospitals who are working hard to provide a safe, caring and compassionate service.”

– Dr Peter Weaving, clinical director for emergency care at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Campaigners take petition to Downing Street

From Whitehaven to Downing Street - campaigners who want to keep consultant-led medical services at the West Cumberland Hospital have taken their fight to the Prime Minister's front door.

More than 23,000 people have signed a petition to stop services being transferred from West Cumbria to Carlisle. Katie Hunter reports:

Hospital petition taken to Downing Street

Campaigners protesting against cuts at a West Cumbrian hospital have handed in a petition with more than 23,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street.

They're opposing plans to move some specialist services from the West Cumberland Hosital in Whitehaven to Carlisle. North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust - which runs both hospitals - says there have already been significant improvements to patient care in West Cumbria, leading to fewer deaths in hospital.

West Cumberland Hospital petition hand in

Campaigners are concerned some services will be downgraded. Credit: ITV Border

Campaigners fighting to prevent services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven they claim are being downgraded will hand in a petition to Downing Street this afternoon.

The trust which runs the hospital has produced a series of options including moving consultant-led maternity services to Carlisle.

Managers say no final decisions have been made.

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Pop star Emeli Sande backs West Cumberland Hospital

Pop star Emeli Sande has joined the high-profile campaign to save under-threat services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

The award-winning singer/songwriter publicly backed the cuts protest after visiting the county to see family, some of who live in west Cumbria. She used her Twitter account to express her support for the We Need West Cumberland Hospital campaign to her 1.2m followers.

She also joined the group’s Thunderclap campaign, which yesterday saw supporters simultaneously tweet a link to the We Need West Cumberland Hospital Facebook page to almost 2 million people across the world.

The group is fighting to save services including consultant-led maternity, which could be centralised in Carlisle.

Three options for West Cumberland Hospital

Three options have been revealed for the future of maternity services in west Cumbria.

Two would involve withdrawing consultant-led maternity cover from the West Cumberland Hospital.

The third would see it being retained, if sufficient new anaesthetists can be recruited. A public consultation will now be carried out.

Thousands of people went to a public meeting at Whitehaven's rugby league ground last month to express their concerns about the possible loss of some hospital services in the area.

Thousands at the public meeting last month Credit: ITV News Border

MP's debate the future of West Cumberland Hospital

West Cumberland Hospital Credit: ITV News Border

The future of services at West Cumberland Hospital will be discussed in Parliament tonight.

Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham's opening the debate, which comes after a public meeting at Whitehaven rugby league ground last month drew around four thousand people. Campaigners are concerned about some services at the hospital being downgraded, and others moved to Carlisle.

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