A group campaigning to save Alston Moor's ambulance has instructed lawyers to investigate the matter.

Alix Martin,of the Save Alston Moor Services Group has now instructed public law and human rights experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the current plans.

The legal team has written to the CCG, which commissions the service, for urgent clarification or they may face a judicial review.

Alexander Terry, the lawyer representing Alix, said: “While the details remain unclear, with no consultations having taken place, at face value the plans are of serious cause for concern.

"The principle concern is that these skeleton proposals appear to downgrade this vital healthcare provision for people living and visiting one of the most remote communities in the country.

“Currently, patients in an emergency situation who require hospital admission may have to wait up to three hours in poor weather for an ambulance from Penrith or Carlisle.

"The residents of Alston Moor therefore do not have the benefit of a blue-light paramedic service within acceptable response times and already feel they are already under-resourced.

“While CFRs are a valuable resource, Alix and the campaign group do not envisage that a local service led solely by CFRs will provide the level of provision or medical expertise that is required in serious emergencies."

Andrew Bennett, interim chief officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “I can confirm we have received a letter from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors regarding the Alston Moor emergency response and ambulance services and will respond in due course.

“As commissioners of ambulance services for the North West region, we are working closely with our colleagues at NWAS and NHS North Cumbria CCG (NCCCG) to ensure the service at Alston Moor continues to meet national requirements, no final decisions have yet been made on this proposal, however it has been recognised that there is a requirement for change.

“To meet updated national training requirements, it has been proposed that a new team of enhanced CFRs is established, this will not result in a substantial change in service at Alston Moor and local people will continue to be supported by trained personnel until an ambulance arrives, our colleagues at NWAS and NCCCG have started to talk with local residents and key local stakeholders about the proposals."