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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Join march to secure West Cumberland Hospital services, urges MP

Jamie Reed is calling on the public to march through the streets of Whitehaven this weekend to help secure services at the town’s hospital.

Jamie Reed photo
Jamie Reed

The Copeland MP will take part in the peaceful protest and wants as many people as possible to join him.

A campaign group, headed by mum-of-two Siobhan Gearing, was launched earlier this year and has so far gathered around 10,000 signatures on a petition.

They want to ensure that all of the services currently at the West Cumberland Hospital remain, and that nothing is transferred to Carlisle or Newcastle.

Sunday’s march, organised by Mrs Gearing of Mirehouse, takes place at 1.15pm on Sunday.

Mr Reed: “Please try and make the march, because our voices must be heard. Services have been withdrawn without consultation; we’re facing an incredible recruitment crisis; government policy has damaged our hospital hugely; the new build project has been cut, cancelled reinstated and under-funded; and don’t forget, the trust recently struggled to pay its electricity bill.

“Our hospital is at the heart of our community. It binds us together. People of all political opinions want the best for it, and until we get the services we need, want and deserve, the fight will continue.”

Mrs Gearing is expecting a huge turnout.

“We want as many people as possible to join us on Sunday,” she said. “Around 80 people have confirmed they’re coming through our Facebook page, but I’m expecting hundreds to turn up on the day.”

Mrs Gearing decided to organise a march as she said it was a positive way to show health bosses what the communities want and make them listen.

It will start at 1.15pm at the gazebo in Whitehaven’s Market Place. Those taking part will firstly have a brief chat, before walking along King Street, Lowther Street and into Castle Park. There, Mr Reed and Mahesh Dhebar, a retired surgeon, will both give a talk.

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