MP launches petition after Trust suspend birth services at Kendal’s maternity unit for six months

9 May 2024
Tim outside Westmorland General Hospital

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has started a petition, after it was announced that, from tomorrow (Friday 10th,) birthing services at Helme Chase Maternity Unit at Westmorland General Hospital will be suspended for the next six months.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust say they have taken the decision due to staffing issues.

This means that any mothers in the South Lakes wishing to give birth at a hospital will have to travel to either Barrow or Lancaster.

Tim’s petition calls on the Conservative Government to give Morecambe Bay Trust “the money and resources to properly staff Helme Chase so we can save our local maternity ward from permanent closure and give the unit a new lease of life after years of underinvestment”.

Tim said: “I am extremely worried that this six month suspension will not only impact local mums in the near future, but it could also pave the way for Helme Chase to be closed for good.

“It is also disappointing that the Trust have given just 12 hours notice before suspending birth services.

“This is a very personal campaign for me – three of my children were born at Helme Chase. This is a very special place for so many parents in our area.

“The Government must provide a package to help the Trust recruit and retain the staff they need so that Helme Chase can not only survive but thrive.

“We must come together as a community to demand that Helme Chase is saved from permanent closure.”

Tim’s petition can be signed here.

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