Sunday, October 09, 2016

Health minister visits Cumbria - and his schedule allows 75 minutes for journey from Whitehaven to Carlisle

I was delighted to see that a health minister visited West Cumbria this week.

I was even more pleased to see that the people who prepared his schedule allowed an hour and a quarter for him to get from West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. (He was quoted as saying that the journey did indeed take over an hour.)

Local newspapers suggested that campaigners for hospital services were "angry" about this.

I understand their reaction and this is a point that everyone who cares about hospital services in West Cumbria should certainly be making, but I'm not going to pretend to be cross: actually I'm jumping up and down in delight.

Because by allowing a realistic time to get from West Cumbria to the Carlisle hospital, the Trust has completely undermined their arguments about the impact on patient safety of expecting patients who require time-critical surgery to get to hospital in Carlisle within the "golden hour."

They've not so much blown any arguments against full 24 hour A&E care and consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital out of the water as dropped a nuclear bomb on them.

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