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  1. Updates on Tuesday 26 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage today

Lee Macaulay

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

Our live updates for Cumbria have now finished for the day. 

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow. 

Hopefully, you can join us then.

Until then, if you've got news or a picture you'd like to share with us, you can contact us on Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or on our Facebook page.

Healthcare overhaul: What are the options for acute hospital services?

The group that's been told to fix west, north and east Cumbria's struggling healthcare system has presented six options for acute hospital services to the regulator, the Care Quality Commission.  They’re part of a 118 page report into the healthcare problems faced in the area, and possible solutions.

We've summarised the potential options (in the report, they have been number 0 - 5):

Scenario 0 - Enhanced services at both Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven. 

  • 24/7 Accident and Emergency at both hospitals – some emergency patients transferred directly to the CiC.
  • Complex surgery in Carlisle but more low-risk surgery in Whitehaven.
  • Consultant-led maternity, special care baby units and midwife-led units at both hospitals.
  • Children’s inpatient wards at both hospitals.

Scenario 1 - Selected "blue light" cases and higher-risk maternity at Cumberland Infirmary

  • 24/7 Accident and Emergency at both hospitals - slightly more patients taken directly to Carlisle.
  • Complex surgery in Carlisle and even more routine elective surgery in Whitehaven as an "elective centre of excellence"
  • Consultant-led maternity, special care baby unit and midwife-led unit at Carlisle.  Midwife-led maternity unit in Whitehaven.
  • Overnight children's ward in Carlisle with short stay children’s units in both hospitals.
West Cumberland Hospital at Whitehaven

Scenario 2 - Selected "blue light" cases, reduced A&E hours and all maternity at Cumberland Infirmary

  • 24/7 Accident and Emergency at Carlisle
  • Reduced hours Accident and Emergency and 24/7 Urgent Care Centre in Whitehaven
  • Complex surgery in Carlisle and routine elective surgery in Whitehaven as an "elective centre of excellence" 
  • Consultant-led, midwife-led and Special Care Baby units in Carlisle.
  • No maternity services in Whitehaven other than antenatal services including early pregnancy assessment service
  • Overnight children's ward in Carlisle with short stay wards in both hospitals.

Scenario 3 - All acute services consolidated and high risk maternity at Cumberland Infirmary

  • 24/7 Accident and Emergency in Carlisle.
  • 24/7 Urgent Care Centre in Whitehaven.  No Accident and Emergency in Whitehaven.
  • Complex surgery in Carlisle and routine elective surgery in Whitehaven as an "elective centre of excellence" 
  • Consultant-led, midwife-led and Special Care Baby units in Carlisle.
  • Midwife-led unit in Whitehaven
  • Overnight children's ward in Carlisle with short stay wards in both hospitals.
Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle

Scenario 4 - All acute services, maternity deliveries and children's services at Cumberland Infirmary

  • 24/7 Accident and Emergency in Carlisle.
  • 24/7 Urgent Care Centre in Whitehaven. No Accident and Emergency in Whitehaven.
  • Complex surgery in Carlisle and routine elective surgery in Whitehaven as an "elective centre of excellence" 
  • All maternity services in Carlisle.
  • No maternity services in Whitehaven.
  • All children's services in Carlisle.    

Scenario 5 - All acute services and higher risk maternity at West Cumberland Hospital

  • 24/7 Accident and Emergency in Whitehaven.
  • 24/7 Urgent Care Centre in Carlisle. No Accident and Emergency in Carlisle.
  • Complex surgery in Whitehaven and routine elective surgery in Carlisle as an "elective centre of excellence" 
  • Consultant-led, midwife-led and Special Care Baby units in Whitehaven.
  • Midwife-led unit in Carlisle.
  • Overnight children's ward in Whitehaven with short stay wards in both hospitals. 

Former Cumbrian health boss says Hillsborough questions still unanswered

A former director of public health in Cumbria says that questions still need to be answered following the conclusion of the Hillsborough inquests.

The 96 fans who died as a result of a crush at the football ground in 1989 were unlawfully killed, according to a coroners' jury.

Dr John Ashton was at the match in Sheffield and gave evidence during the inquests in Warrington.

He said: "Today we've got a lot of the facts and the truth."

"We still don't know how much involvement there was from the British Government, from Whitehall, but the important thing is that the main facts of what happened are agreed in a proper English coroner's court."

Earlier today, some of the families of those killed sang after the inquests returned their conclusions:

Hillsborough inquests: Families sing after unlawful killing conclusion

Sport: Reds boss Derek Townsley backs side to make play-off final

Paul Newton

Sports Editor, BBC Cumbria

Workington Reds travel to North East side Blyth Spartans in their Evo-Stik Premier Play-Off semi-final.

Reds manager Derek Townsley says his side have to believe they can win even with a 13 point gap between his side and Blyth in the league:

"The boys have been absolutely superb this season."

"I'm pleased that they've got something to show for their efforts."

"It's all down to them...It'd been criminal if we'd had nothing to show for our efforts so credit to them for that"

The winners of tonight's game will meet Salford City or Ashton United in Saturday's final.

There's full match commentary on BBC Radio Cumbria AM and online from 18:00.

Cumbrian 'drainspotter' to star in documentary

A man from Ulverston who's found fame for his fascination with the history of drain covers is the subject of a new documentary. 

Archie Workman was featured in the Dull Men's Club calendar for his "drainspotting".

It followed an interview on BBC Radio Cumbria about his own calendar featuring the work he does maintaining roads near Ulverston as a lengthsman.

Screen Three Productions are producing a film about him which they hope to take to festivals around the world. 

Travel: All clear on the county's roads

BBC Travel

We've no problems being reported on the county's roads at the moment.

There are roadworks in Milnthorpe on A6 Church Street between Park Lane and Main Street/Paradise Lane where temporary traffic lights will stay in place until 9 May according to Cumbria County Council. 

Downgrading hospital departments being considered for Cumbrian healthcare overhaul

The group that's been charged with fixing north and west Cumbria's struggling health service says it will consider downgrading or closing hospital departments if necessary. 

In a 117-page report in response to the Care Quality Commission, The West, North and East Cumbria Success Regime says changes could be made to accident and emergency, maternity services and children's health services at either the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle or the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The report also suggests that some community hospitals could lose beds.

The CQC is considering its formal reply and a public consultation on the options will take place later this year. 

Response to CQC on safe and sustainable future for WNE Cumbria
WNE Cumbria Success Regime

Your photos: Clouds over Penrith

BBC Weather Watchers

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher woodieonthehill for this picture of a cloudy, but sunny, sky over Penrith.

If you've got a photo of Cumbria you'd like to share, you can email it to    

Clouds over Penrith

Striking junior doctors to give blood in Carlisle

Some of the junior doctors who are on strike from the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle are planning to give blood today as part of their walk out.

They told BBC Look North's Megan Paterson that they'd be going to the city's Crown and Mitre Hotel where a donation session is happening today.

There's more on BBC News about the effects of the strike action by junior doctors nationwide.

View more on twitter

Cumbrian nature reserve warden to live alone on island for fifth year running

A nature reserve warden will spend the next three months on an island in the Morecambe Bay with barely any contact to the outside world.

It's the fifth year that Mike Bannister has worked as the seasonal warden at Cumbria Wildlife Trust's Foulney Island Nature Reserve near Rampside in Furness.

He'll live out of a caravan on the reserve between from May until July where it'll take him a three mile bike ride to pick up supplies from the nearest village.

Over the next three months, he'll monitor colonies of breeding birds on the nature reserve and generally maintain the reserve.

Mike Bannister, warden at Foulney Island Nature Reserve
Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbrian woman takes England's Big Picture

A woman from Cumbria is getting her picture featured on the BBC News England page.

Each day, a picture is chosen to be part of the England's Big Picture gallery for the week.

Lynn Hobbs took this photo at 15:30 while surrounded by Herdwick sheep at Wast Water in the Lake District. 

She said: "I had to pull in to let the shepherd bring the huge flock along the road next to the lake."  

Herdwick Sheep at Wast Water
Lynn Hobbs

Cumbrian MP denies swearing in Parliament

The Labour MP for Barrow and Furness has denied swearing at MPs from the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons. 

SNP Glasgow MP Carol Monaghan said she was "outraged" by the language used by John Woodcock.

She asked the Commons Speaker John Bercow for advice on how to make an official complaint about the Barrow MP.

In response, John Woodcock said he had not used any offensive language and raised concerns that the SNP was using tactics of "intimidation" in the House.

John Woodcock MP

Weather: Cold and windy with sunny spells

BBC Weather

This afternoon will be cold and windy with sunshine and blustery showers.

Those showers will get heavier in places with a chance of hail or thunder. 

Temperatures around 9C.

Here's how the afternoon is looking in Keswick, you can find a detailed forecast for your area on the BBC Weather website.

Afternoon weather for Keswick

Company behind new nuclear plant says Chernobyl couldn't happen in UK

The company that hopes to build a new nuclear power station in West Cumbria says that an accident on the scale of Chernobyl could not happen now 30 years later.

The accident in present-day Ukraine was the world's worst civil nuclear disaster.

NuGen are consulting people in Cumbria about their plan to build a nuclear plant at Moorside next to the Sellafield site. 

Head of Corporate Communications John McNamara (speaking at 10:15) told BBC Radio Cumbria's Kevin Fernihough that 30 years ago countries didn't work together to ensure the public was kept safe but that has changed now:

"We didn't have it back in the 80s, it's fair to say."

"These kind of issues came about because of a lack of regulation, a lack of transparency, and a lack of emphasis on safety."

"That wouldn't happen in the UK, we have a very strong regulatory process here."

Belarusian woman thanks Cumbrian family for taking her in after Chernobyl

A woman from Belarus who stayed with a Cumbrian family to recuperate following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has thanked them for their generosity. 

Ceremonies are taking place in Ukraine today to mark the 30th anniversary of the meltdown which remains the worst nuclear accident in history.

Karina Hyzova stayed with Nick Wilson and his family in Cockermouth when she was 8 years old.

It was part of a charity-run programme to help children affected by the fallout from Chernobyl.

She told the BBC that the experience was invaluable:

"In our country, climate and social level is not as high as in Britain. For some children, [it was] the only way to go abroad and see different lives."

"I've entered at university and got a degree of economics so now I'm getting another degree connected with my English."

Karina Hyzova
Nick Wilson

Police and Crime Commissioner election: The candidates

These are the candidates hoping to become the county's next Police and Crime Commissioner:

  •   Loraine Birchall - Liberal Democrat  
  •   Peter Joseph McCall - Conservative  
  •   Michael Pye - UKIP
  •   Mary Robinson - Independent  
  •   Reg Watson - Labour  

There'll be a special report about the candidates on BBC Look North at 18:30 tonight in the north of the county and on the BBC iPlayer.

All five candidates will be in the hot seat on BBC Radio Cumbria this Friday between 09:00 and 10:00.

PCC hot seat trail

New maternity unit plans on show in Ulverston

Plans are on display in Ulverston for a new maternity unit at the Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

Under the proposals, it will replace the existing labour and maternity wards with new ensuite accommodation and two dedicated operating theatres.

The trust running the hospital has posted a video explaining the plans for the new unit.

The new building is expected to cost 11 million pounds and members of staff from the trust will be answer questions about the changes at Ulverston Health Centre between 16:00 and 17:00 today.

Your photos: Sunrise over Baycliff

BBC Weather Watchers

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Kev from Baycliff in the south of the county for this picture of the sun rising over the Morecambe Bay. 

If you've got a photo of Cumbria you'd like to share, you can email it to    

Sunrise over Baycliff in South Cumbria

Cumbrian MP says new contract will benefit junior doctors

The new contract proposed by the Government will actually benefit junior doctors, a Cumbrian Conservative MP says.

It's the first time in the history of the National Health Service that junior doctors have stopped providing emergency cover during strike action.

The Conservative MP for Carlisle, John Stevenson, said that the new contract actually has many benefits for junior doctors:

"It's a 13.5% upgrade of basic pay, limits on hours per week; so that's an improvement, and cutting down on the number of consecutive nights and long days.

"So there are some real terms changes there that are beneficial to doctors."

But Dr Jonathan Graff is one of the junior doctors on the picket line outside the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle:

"A contract which makes junior doctors work more evenings, more weekends, more anti-social hours, and doesn't remunerate them for it is likely to make doctors leave and work abroad and already stretched rotas will be stretched thinner."

Police and Crime Commissioner candidates in the hotseat

Campaigning is under way for the candidates hoping to be Cumbria's second-ever Police and Crime Commissioner.

Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to ensure police forces in England and Wales are running effectively. 

They replaced police authorities in 2012 and were intended to bring a public voice to policing. 

There's more about PCCs on the BBC's Election 2016 site. 

Junior doctors on picket line in Carlisle

Adam Powell

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

Junior doctors are on the picket line outside Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary after a nine-hour walkout has begun.

It's the latest strike in an ongoing dispute with the Government over a new contract.

View more on twitter

I don't think this is a dispute about pay and conditions. I think it's a dispute about the future of the NHS and trying to preserve patient safety for the long term.

Dr Jonathan GraffJunior doctor working at the Cumberland Infirmary

Junior doctors strike: Who's affected?

Here's what we know, so far, about today's nine-hour walkout by junior doctors in Cumbria:

  • More consultants and other staff are being brought in to cover the strike by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group. It decides how healthcare is provided in Cumbria.
  • 83 outpatient appointments have been cancelled at hospitals in Carlisle and Whitehaven by the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • 406 operations and 345 outpatient appointments have been cancelled across the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust which runs hospitals in Kendal, Barrow, Lancaster and Morecambe.
  • No appointments were scheduled to take place during in walkout by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which runs community hospitals and mental health services.
The entrance to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle

Junior doctors in Cumbria go out on strike

Junior doctors in the county and nationwide are taking part in a nine-hour walkout today as part of an ongoing dispute with the Government over a proposed new contract.

For the first time in the history of the National Health Service, junior doctors are refusing to provide emergency care during the action.

Hundreds of appointments and operations have been cancelled across Cumbria.

NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, which decides how healthcare is provided in Cumbria, says that more consultants and other staff are being brought in to cover the strike

Weather: Dry with showers to come

BBC Weather

It'll be dry at first today, but showers will move into Cumbria this afternoon that could be heavy at times.

A chance of hail and thunder as well on a windy and cold day with highs of 9C.

Here's the forecast for Keswick this morning, you can find a detailed forecast for your area on the BBC Weather website.

Morning weather for Keswick

Cumbrian man remembers help given following Chernobyl disaster

A man from Cockermouth has been talking about his experience of having a Belarusian child stay with them in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. 

Ukraine is marking the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster today. 

Nick Wilson is the chairman of the charity Friends of Chernobyl's Children, North and West Cumbria.

His family had Karina Hyzova, who was eight at the time, from Belarus stay with them:

"I know I can't even imagine how grateful I am to Nick and Kate and for this charitable organisation."

"I think that perhaps, maybe, if I hadn't gone to England, I would be an absolutely different person."

Nick says that it was a real culture shock for Karina:

"When we took Karina the first time to go shopping for some jeans, we went into so many shops because she couldn't choose.

"In Belarus there would just be one shop or maybe two and, maybe, two styles of jeans that you could choose from. Here, there are numerous styles."

Video: Chernobyl's ghost town

BBC Radio Cumbria

While we're talking today about the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, here's the BBC's Tom Burridge visiting the 30km exclusion zone set up around the power plant after the disaster.

Inside Chernobyl 'ghost town'

Cumbrian peer's amendment on child refugees defeated

A proposal that would have meant the UK accepting 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees who are already in European camps has been defeated.

It was debated in the House of Commons yesterday after being put forward by the Cumbrian Labour peer Lord Dubs.

The Labour amendment to the Immigration Bill was rejected by 294 to 276 votes.

Cumbrian Labour peer Lord Dubs speaking on the Daily Politics

Travel: Roadworks in Sedbergh

BBC Travel

It's looking clear on the roads for most of the county. 

But in Sedbergh, the A684 Station Road/Main Street is closed in both directions between the A693 Station Road junction and the Loftus Hill junction because of roadworks. 

No problems on the county's trains today.

Virgin Trains and Transpennine Express are running normally again after the West Coast Main Line was closed in Cumbria for much of yesterday because of a broken down train at Carnforth.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage

Lee Macaulay

BBC Cumbria Live

Good morning. It's dry but a bit chilly out there. 

We'll keep you up to date with all the news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria today.

If you've got a story to tell or a picture you'd like to share with us, you get in touch with Twitter where we are @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or through our Facebook page.