Bid made to stop South Cumbria patients having to travel further
Last updated at 16:46, Monday, 06 August 2012
A FORMAL appeal has been lodged against a decision to move specialist surgery further away from South Cumbria.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust says it will fight for the right to offer emergency vascular surgery at Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Patients from South Cumbria have been treated at the infirmary’s vascular unit for 40 years, but could face having to travel to one of Carlisle, Preston or Blackburn under a restructure.
Over the last 18 months the Lancashire Cluster Board has conducted a review of the region’s vascular units in a bid to streamline services across Cumbria, Lancashire, Bolton and Wigan, Dumfries and Galloway. UHMBT applied to be one of three specialist centres but the Cumberland Infirmary, the Royal Blackburn and Royal Preston Hospitals were selected as the three proposed sites. Routine and planned vascular treatment will still be provided at local hospitals.
UHMBT interim chief executive Eric Morton (pictured right) said: “I want to reiterate the fact that as a trust, we want to keep the services within our hospitals and we have lodged a formal appeal against the decision made by the cluster board. We await the outcome and will continue to talk to the affected staff throughout the process.
“Over 40 years our vascular unit has evolved under the strong influence of its consultant staff. It has developed a regional and national reputation, based on excellence of specialty and training, and has played its part in national and international research and development.”
Cumbria county councillor for Ormsgill, Jim Hamezeian, welcomed news of the appeal.
He said: “They have every right to appeal and I hope that Lancaster will be chosen as an intervention centre for the vascular services. We’re caught in a situation where if we’re not careful, lots of these essential services will be taken away from us. The main concern is the travel. We in Barrow are in a very isolated place and to get to either Preston or Blackpool when emergency surgery is needed is too far.”
First published at 16:24, Monday, 06 August 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Shame they did not fight to keep emergency vascular services in Barrow and let them move them to Lancaster. If its too far for someone form Lancaster to go 20 minutes to Preston then its to far for someone to spend an hour traveling form Barrow to Lancaster in an emergency.
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