MP Sue Hayman demands health investment ahead of Moorside power station development
Workington MP Sue Hayman has urged Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to invest in west Cumbria's health services ahead of the proposed Moorside power station development.
In a letter to Mr Hunt this week, Mrs Hayman said the 4,000 construction workers and their families moving to the area made it vital that funding be committed to the West Cumberland Hospital, community hospitals and the area's infrastructure.
She said: "The Government must take into account the increase in population associated with Moorside when considering the ongoing review of services being provided at the West Cumberland Hospital.
"The Success Regime’s options would see further service reductions at a time when they will be needed more than ever.
"The current proposals are completely unacceptable – and an increased population will only make the situation worse.
"I raised my significant concerns during a recent meeting with the Success Regime and was told that the people moving into the area would be low users of NHS services and therefore this was not an issue that needed to be taken into account.
"However, it is clear that many workers will have families and likely young children, who are of course high users of NHS services, including of A&E, the children’s ward and the maternity wing – all of which are proposed to be downgraded or moved.
"It is clear to me that the people of West Cumbria urgently need adequate investment from the Government in our local healthcare system to go alongside the new jobs and growth associated with Moorside."
Work to build the three-reactor power station would start in 2019, under the current plan and take until 2026.