Millom protest over hospital's future

Protest March Protestors fear for the future of the community hospital

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People in a Cumbrian town have held a protest aimed at securing the future of their hospital.

Millom Community Hospital stopped admitting inpatients several weeks ago because of a shortage of GP cover.

Hundreds of people took part in a march, calling for the service to be reinstated amid continuing concerns over its future.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said there were no plans to close the hospital.

Last month Millom Town Council expressed concerns about "rumours" surrounding its future.

In a joint statement, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group said there had been problems recruiting for the Waterloo House GP practice, which is set to move on to the same site as the hospital.

'Breaking point'

They said: "We are not able to keep the inpatient unit open without any GP cover as this would compromise the safety of patients.

"As soon as the medical cover is restored, the beds will reopen."

They said other services run from the hospital would stay open.

March organiser Jenny Brumby said the trust had received notice that two local practitioners were set to retire 18 months ago.

She said: "We're at breaking point in Millom. We've got no doctors to cover our hospitals.

"We pay our taxes for them to give us this service and they haven't given us this service."

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