[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
Hospital ward closure 'a mistake'
A hospital trust has admitted that closing an acute ward was a mistake and has now reopened it to patients.

Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, Cumbria, closed Ward 11 to heart attack and stroke patients on 3 October.

Morecambe Bay Trust has now admitted the move was premature and promised to consult Cumbria County Council's health committee over future plans.

The acute medical ward will still close in the future. Patients will instead be treated at Barrow or Lancaster.

When it was announced last year, the move was met with protests from local people, but the hospital's directors defended the decision, saying that patients would receive better treatment elsewhere.

At a meeting with the Cumbria County Council's joint health overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday, Morecambe Bay Trust also agreed to put alternative service arrangements in place before making any future changes.

'Brave enough'

Councillor Jeff Garnett, chair of the committee, said: "There was a general acceptance from health providers that mistakes have been made, but there was also a real commitment not to make them again.

"Ultimately, Westmorland General Hospital will lose its acute medical admissions, but it is only right that nothing should go before alternative arrangements have been fully tested and put in place.

"Members of the committee welcome the fact that the trust has been brave enough to admit that it was premature in closing the ward.

"It should not be criticised for 'U-turns' or 'back-pedalling', instead it should be congratulated for finally acting on local concerns."

Hospital shake-up sparks protest
01 Sep 07 |  Cumbria
Hospital trust cutting 67 posts
05 Dec 06 |  Lancashire
Hospital shake-up sparks protest
02 Sep 06 |  Cumbria

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific