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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Marches plan in fight to keep services at West Cumberland Hospital

The fight to secure services at west Cumbria’s acute hospital is stepping up as organisers plan a number of marches.

Siobhan Gearing photo
Siobhan Gearing

Mother-of-two Siobhan Gearing has kickstarted the campaign and gathered nearly 2,000 signatures on an online petition.

She has already delivered some paper petitions to shops, doctors and pharmacies and will be sending out more in the next few days.

And plans are already underway for a number of marches to be held in each of west Cumbria’s towns to show the public support to keep vital services at the hospital.

It comes as a five-year-plan for health services is being drawn up, which could include significant changes, so campaigners are making their voice heard to ensure that all services remain at the West Cumberland and are not transferred elsewhere.

“We are hoping to hold marches through every town in west Cumbria, which uses the hospital,” Mrs Gearing told the News & Star: “We want to get our point across that we don’t want to lose anything from our local hospital and this is a way to do that.”

Mrs Gearing started her campaign as she said her experience of the Hensingham hospital during a recent stay was fantastic and that it would be disastrous if services were moved to either Carlisle or Newcastle. Since launching the campaign on Monday, hundreds of people have backed Mrs Gearing.

The 26-year-old has also been in touch with Copeland MP Jamie Reed’s office and is awaiting his reply, as well as sending a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Health bosses say if they carry on spending at the rate they are, there will be a £20m hole in the north Cumbria’s health budget. This is on top of the £30m they are already trying to save.

Visit the Facebook page – We Need West Cumberland Hospital – for details of marches.

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