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Cumbrian hospitals bosses under fire over service changes

A health summit organised by west Cumbrian MP Jamie Reed saw health bosses come under fire over changes to local hospital services.

Jamie Reed photo
Jamie Reed

The event, which was not open to the public, was set up to give local representatives a chance to raise concerns about health care in the area.

The controversial transfer of high-risk general surgery from Whitehaven to Carlisle is due to get underway today. Hospital bosses say it will make surgery safer, but several west Cumbrian politicians have mounted high-profile opposition to the move.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited takeover of the West Cumberland Hospital and Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary has stalled after the trust that runs them was put into special measures.

Copeland MP Mr Reed yesterday used his health summit, at Cleator Moor Civic Hall, to call for a wider debate about the future of west Cumbria’s health services to be held in public.

He said that the much-hyped Closer to Home plan, which set out a blueprint for services following a major public debate several years ago, has never been properly implemented. And the Shadow Health Minister claims that the recent, controversial reorganisation of the NHS is now “sucking resources away from frontline care” in Cumbria.

Mr Reed said the public deserved to know exactly what was going to happen.

“It isn’t clear what services are going to be provided by the West Cumberland Hospital or the Cumberland Infirmary in the future. There are fears that services are being cut by stealth, that certain services and treatments are being rationed and it’s clear that local patients and people are not being consulted about any of this,” he said.

“Permanent changes must not be allowed to go ahead without a full and frank public consultation.”

Have your say

There is x amount of money available to provide health care in two hospitals 40 miles apart. How can the community help the NHS Trust meet demands.
Is a hospital the best place to receive care you need?
Can this be provided by your GP.
Link GPs and Care Homes to Ambulance and acute hospital services via telehealth to prevent people being taken to hospital unnecessarily.
Get the locaL social services to truly work in partnership with Secondary and Primary Care services.
Get the CCG to get its finger out and start
commissioning the interface between key agencies.
Lastly ask how can I personally support my local hospital- and that not just kicking off when services are rationalised or the local MP wakes up and smalls the coffee.

Posted by Freda Nerk on 2 October 2013 at 12:53

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Is The Autumn Statement good news for Cumbria?

Yes - the enterprise zone jobs and airport flights are a fantastic boost

It's more positive than expected but could have been better

I agree with Jamie Reed, it is all smoke and mirrors

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