MP wants consultation into decision to stop high risk surgery at hospital
Published at 15:08, Tuesday, 10 September 2013
A decision to stop all high risk surgery at Whitehaven hospital will be challenged in Parliament amid fears it is a “Trojan horse”.
Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland and shadow health minister, is calling for a public consultation into the decision to carry out all complex and high risk surgery at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, claiming it could leave the future of other services in west Cumbria in doubt.
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust revealed the news last week, with out-of-hours and weekend operations being stopped at the West Cumberland Hospital last Friday. All high risk operations, such as appendectomies and hip surgery, will be carried out in Carlisle from October 1.
The trust said the decision came in part following recommendations in the damning Keogh report earlier this year, which called for urgent improvements to the quality and safety of care at the two hospitals.
The plans would allow more routine surgery to be carried out in west Cumbria, and hone the skills of specialist surgeons, and ultimately improve mortality rates, the trust claimed.
Mr Reed has accused hospital bosses of hiding behind the Keogh report though, and is calling for the public to add their voices to his cause, as he claims the decision is rushed and based on no evidence.
“I have written to [temporary chief executive] Ann Farrar calling for a public consultation regarding these changes, and I have submitted a series of freedom of information requests relating to this decision-making process,” he said.
“Everyone wants the safest services and the best medical outcome for patients but there are a number of problems with this rushed decision.
“The clinical evidence has not been provided to support this decision, the public hasn’t been consulted, there are real concerns about what such a move means for other services at the West Cumberland Hospital – such as consultant-led maternity services – and moving out-of-hours surgery from Whitehaven was never part of ‘Closer to Home’.”
Mr Reed questioned whether the trust would be able to provide 24-hour, consultant-led maternity services in Whitehaven if there is no 24-hour surgical cover.
“This unannounced removal of services looks like a Trojan horse with which to remove other services from the West Cumberland Hospital and this is unacceptable,” he insisted.
“I’m particularly concerned by the attempt to hide behind the Keogh report as a reason for this move.
“I have spoken with Bruce Keogh who told me that there was ‘nothing wrong that couldn’t be fixed’ in either Carlisle or Whitehaven.”
A petition is being drawn up by the MP, calling for public consultation.
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Jamie how many petitions and consultations do you need ?? Time to stand up and be counted. You were full of talk at the original save our hospital march and you have been full of talk ever since. WCH will end up a far cry from what was promised and all this has happened ON YOUR WATCH !!! Shame on you.
Rip the heart out of the hospital! Tansfer patients to Carlisle for surgery, sounds like the West Cumberland Hospital is terminally ill! Cut or block the main artery the A595 and the whole of West Cumbria is dead! Walked all over by the experts and politicians, West Cumbria has become a joke, a doormat!
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