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Thousands protest loss of West Cumberland Hospital services

Credit: ITV Border

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Whitehaven yesterday to protest the loss of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Campaigners want some services to be brought back to the town after they were moved to Carlisle.

But the Trust which runs the West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary has said it's committed to the future of both hospitals.

Protest held over West Cumberland Hospital services

People have been gathering in Whitehaven for a protest march about a loss of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

They say they're angry that services transferred to Carlisle, while the new hospital was being built, will not return when the new facility opens later this year.

However, the hospital trust insists the changes have saved lives.

"It's our duty to ensure we provide safe, high quality patient care for the people we serve.

"The independent evidence is now very clear that following changes made to transfer very small numbers of seriously ill patients to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, more lives are now being saved.

"We very much look forward to the opening of our new state-of-the-art hospital later this year.'

– North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Volunteers needed for new West Cumberland Hospital

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Volunteers are being sought to help out at the new £90million West Cumberland Hospital when it opens this autumn.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is holding a recruitment drive next month to encourage people to find out more about what being a volunteer involves.

Volunteer roles are varied but the Trust is especially looking for approachable people to meet patients and visitors when they enter the hospital, answer queries and be a welcoming face.

The volunteers’ recruitment drive takes place from Tuesday 2 to Friday 5 June 2015 to coincide with Volunteers’ Week 2015, which runs from 1 to 7 June.

Volunteers from across North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust have also been invited to events held in both Whitehaven and Carlisle next month to meet volunteers from other departments and celebrate the contribution they make.

“The opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital is an incredibly exciting time for the community and volunteering to be a part of it is a great chance for local people to get involved. “We already have a fantastic team of volunteers working throughout the Trust and the events next month are a way of the Trust thanking them for their time and commitment, and for volunteers to meet volunteers from other departments.”

– Claire Unwin, volunteer and charity development officer North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Anyone interested in volunteering at West Cumberland Hospital and booking a place on the recruitment event to find out more should email volunteering@ncuh.nhs.uk or call 01228 814567.

New West Cumberland Hospital to open in Autumn

West Cumberland Hospital

The new West Cumberland Hospital is expected to open this Autumn, it has been announced.

That's a boost because progress on the £90m hospital suffered a setback earlier this year, when a fire damaged the energy centre.

The hospital itself wasn't damaged, but was left without any source of electrical power or heating.

A fire damaged the energy centre.

Following the fire it has been important for us to carefully consider and test all of the options we had in order to allow us to move forward both quickly and, most importantly, safely.

We are very pleased to say that we are now back on track and the hospital will be opening to patients in Autumn this year. This is a real testament to the hard work and determination of our staff.

We look forward to arranging public open days in the coming months to allow members of the local community to come and view their fantastic new hospital before we open the doors later this year.”

– Les Morgan, director of redevelopment at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Public can help Cumbria Hospital improvements

The Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle Credit: ITV Border

Members of the public are being asked to play their part to improve pressures on North Cumbria hospitals.

Efforts are being focused on reducing the need to maintain escalation beds, which have put a strain on normal routine business when hospitals are at capacity.

Health and social partners are working to make sure patients who do not need to be in an acute hospital bed, are safely discharged to a more appropriate care setting or home with the right package of care.

The public are being asked to help reduce pressures, and are being reminded:

  • to think twice before using A&E or calling 999 for serious life threatening emergencies
  • to think about using other NHS services such as walk-in centres and pharmacies or call Cumbria Health on Call (out of hours) on 03000 247247 for advice on alternative urgent services available
  • to stay away from hospital if they have any symptoms of sickness or diarrhoea.

Caesarean figures revealed at West Cumberland Hospital

Campaigners in West Cumbria fear dozens of lives a year will be at risk if maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital are downgraded. It's after exclusive figures obtained by Lookaround revealed the number of emergency Caesarean sections carried out there annually.

Health bosses are waiting for the outcome of an independent review into maternity services before making decisions about the future. Katie Hunter reports:

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