Hundreds take part in Maryport hospital protest

Credit: ITV Border

Hundreds of people have taken part in a protest in Maryport to try to stop any cuts to the town's hospital.

A petition containing around seven thousand names, was handed to the head of the so-called "Success Regime", which is looking at ways to improve healthcare in North Cumbria.

The future of the beds at this community hospital and several others across the county are part of the review currently underway.

Today Sir Neil McKay made it clear that the hospitals would stay open but with changes to the number of beds.

"There is no intention whatsoever to close any community hospitals," he said. "But we do plan to change the way beds are provided."

He said around 30 beds could be lost at Maryport, Wigton and Alston hospitals with healthcare provided in better ways.

A similar protest is planned later today by people worried about the future of Alston's hospital. Beds there closed temporarily because of a shortage of staff.

A decision on the future of the community hospitals is expected next year.