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'Health summit' over controversial bed closures

There have been protests over the closures. Credit: ITV Border

A 'health summit' has been organised in west Cumbria today in response to controversial plans to close hospital beds.

NHS bosses are axing all inpatient beds at Wigton, Maryport and Alston hospitals.

The summit in Lillyhall has been organised by Allerdale Borough Council to give people the chance to ask questions about the impact of closures.

Audience at the health summit Credit: ITV Border

Campaigners urge health companies to follow accessibility rules

Campaigners are urging Cumbrian organisations to follow the new rules. Credit: PA

A group of blind and partially sighted people in Cumbria say health organisations are failing to follow new laws requiring them to communicate with patients in a format they can read or understand.

The NHS Accessible Information Standard was supposed to begin on 31 July.

Patients say it's essential GPs, hospitals and pharmacies stick to it, however they say many in Cumbria are not following the new rules.

Not everybody has someone they would really want to read through their most personal information. I've just had a bowel screening results and you just don't want to ask the postman to read that out for you.

– Edward Bebbington

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Update expected on Cumbria's NHS 'Success Regime'

NHS Credit: PA

An update on the progress of Cumbria's NHS 'Success Regime' is being given today.

The Success Regime has introduced a number of clinician-led work groups, aimed at focusing on a specific area of challenge in the local health service.

Sir Neil McKay and Dr David Rogers will provide an update on progress made so far regarding the future of healthcare delivery in West, North and East Cumbria.

Key areas being looked at by the regime include urgent care, maternity services, children's services, elective surgery and mental health.

Morecambe Bay Hospitals recommended to come out of special measures

Furness General Hospital Credit: PA

The Care Quality Commission says Morecambe Bay Hospitals have made enough progress to come out of special measures.

The trust runs the Westmorland General in Kendal.

Morecambe Bay was placed in special measures in June 2014 because of concerns about patient safety.

Despite the improvement the the trust is still rated as "requires improvement."

New era of healthcare in West Cumbria

NHS Credit: PA

A new research, teaching and medical education campus has launched in West Cumbria aimed at improving healthcare at every level across the region.

West Cumberland Medical Education Campus (WCMEC) is a collaboration between several institutions including the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group.

It will develop education in medicine and related areas such as dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and policy.

New £90m West Cumberland hospital Credit: ITV Border

The new campus, hopes to deliver innovative improvements in remote and rural healthcare and develop new integrated models of care for the local area.

It will also provide a local facility to train West Cumbria’s clinical workforce and attract the best global students to the area to benefit patient care.

The campus will combine academic facilities at UCLan’s Westlakes campus and neighbouring clinical facilities at the new West Cumberland Hospital, which has already represented a significant step for local communities and the development of healthcare in West Cumbria.

The campus will develop education in medicine Credit: PA

Professor St John Crean, Executive Dean of UCLan’s College of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, said:

This new campus is looking to the future and if our ambitions to work in Cumbria are fully realised, then we will have a fantastic opportunity to improve skills, research, staff recruitment and retention.

The ‘halo effect’ of this programme will mean we can help attract students, doctors, teaching staff and research opportunities to Whitehaven and West Cumbria for years to come.”

– Professor St John Crean

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

This is a hugely positive step in the right direction to help address some of the longstanding issues we face in relation to our workforce, particularly in West Cumbria.

The partnership will bring in new expertise for the benefit of patient care, as well as help Cumbria to ‘Grow our Own’ medical talent and provide an innovative roadmap for the delivery of a sustainable workforce for health services in Cumbria.”

– Dr Jeremy Rushmer

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Borders Hospital to be criticised in report

Borders General Hospital Credit: ITV Border

A report due to published today is expected to criticise hygiene and cleanliness at the Borders General Hospital.

The Health Environment Inspectorate report will be particularly critical of conditions in operating theatres.

An action plan to improve cleaning techniques at the hospital has already been put in place.

Plan to improve hygiene at Borders General Hospital

Borders General Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

An action plan to improve cleanliness and hygiene techniques has been put in place at operating theatres at Borders General Hospital.

The move comes ahead of a report by the Scottish government's Health Environment Inspectorate, which is expected to be critical.