West Cumberland Hospital struggles to recruit emergency doctors

The North Cumbria Integrated Care Trust has denied rumours that the A&E department is earmarked for closure. Credit: ITV News

Potential staff shortages at Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital means there may not be "appropriate overnight cover" in its Accident and Emergency department.

North Cumbria NHS Trust says  a national shortage of emergency doctors means contingency plans are in place to make sure safe services can be provided to patients at all time.

The Trust has denied some reports that the A&E unit is earmarked for closure.

A spokesperson said, “We are absolutely not planning to close the A&E department at West Cumberland Hospital.

"In fact, we are working very hard to make sure we can maintain services in the face of potential staff shortages.

"We know there is a national shortage of emergency doctors and there is a risk that we may be unable to provide appropriate overnight cover in the future.

“Like any responsible NHS organisation it is essential that we have a strong business continuity plan in place which we can follow in the event of there not being enough staff in the department on some occasions.

"Our priority is making sure we can continue to provide a safe service to patients in west Cumbria at all times.”

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