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Independent review for Morecambe Bay hospitals

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

An independent review will be carried out into the urology service across Morecambe Bay, after a whistleblower consultant raised concerns that some surgeons were repeatedly making serious mistakes.

Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal
Google
Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay has been criticised by the area's MPs who are worried it had not learned the lessons of the Kirkup Review of its maternity failings in Barrow that led to the deaths of 11 babies and a mother.

Consultant urologist Peter Duffy worked at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT). Last year he won an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal after he made a series of internal complaints.

His new book has further fueled concerns and MPs around the Morecambe Bay area, as well as the hospital trust itself, have called for an independent review.

UHMBT chief executive Aaron Cummins wants this to provide "reassurance" that the service is safe and to ensure the management response was "appropriate and correct".

Coral Island: Fire breaks out at Blackpool arcade
Coral Island's owners said the fire was caused by an electrical fault on an external light.

Police and crime commissioner's plea for 340 new recruits

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) said he has asked the government for an extra 340 police officers as the county's share of the 6,000 additional recruits promised for next year.

Clive Grunshaw Lancashire police and crime commissioner
Lancashire PCC

The Home Office has pledged to boost policing numbers with 20,000 new officers over the next three years.

Clive Grunshaw told a PCC panel meeting said he has a “massive concern” that the allocation of additional officers could be based on the size of a force’s budget rather than on where officers have been taken from.

He also fears the 14,000 officers to be recruited during the second and third years of the government’s recruitment drive could go to the National Crime Agency or counter-terror policing rather than local forces.

The Home Office has not responded to a request for comment about the issues raised at the meeting.

North West Air Ambulance called out to 200 incidents

The North West Air Ambulance Service responded to nearly 200 incidents in Cumbria in the last year.

The service, which has helicopters in Greater Manchester and Preston, covers the south of the county - but has been as far north as Carlisle in the last 12 months.

James, who's a helicopter pilot, says the aircraft make a big difference to patients in need.

If it's an hour-and-a-half or two-hour drive, we can be there in 20 minutes and that can make a real big difference to that patient."