Hospital campaigners are urging the west Cumbrian public to join their fight to save local services at a high-profile event tomorrow.

The STOP! meeting aims to give local people a say over options being put forward by health bosses – which could see more services lost from the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The views will be collated and presented to chiefs at the Success Regime, the body leading efforts to transform healthcare in the area.

Taking place at Whitehaven Civic Hall from 2pm, it has been organised by the We Need West Cumberland Hospital campaign group in response to the ‘emerging options’ which were published in February.

Although not yet formal proposals, ideas being considered include moving consultant-led maternity services, overnight children’s ward cover and more urgent care services, such as stroke, to Carlisle.

The Success Regime is currently carrying its own exercise, holding public meetings across the area.

But Whitehaven mother-of-two Rachel Holliday, from the campaign group, said they do not feel the people of west Cumbria are being listened to, prompting them to launch their own survey.

Rachel Holliday “For years now the people of west Cumbria and the staff of the West Cumberland Hospital have been asked over and over again to engage with various organisations. 

"Review after review, meetings after meetings, surveys after surveys and thousands of our written letters telling these organisations how we are all suffering. Petitions, marches, public meetings – yet, no change. Then the Success Regime was brought in to help and I felt so relieved that they will see the damage caused by years of this mismanagement and suggest some real options to make a long term plan.

“When I read the ‘emerging thinking’ I was horrified. These are not options for us.

“We cannot live in fear of our child becoming seriously ill after a certain time at night. We should not have to hope that the only road to someone who can save our lives is actually open the day we suffer a stroke or a burst appendix. Who would ever even suggest these as possible options?

“Well we say STOP! We have hopefully designed the last survey we will ever have to fill in. We will collate the feedback and ensure every organisation receives a copy of it. What’s more, the next time we are asked what we think about stripping more services from the West Cumberland Hospital, we will have an answer from our community ready waiting for them.”

Siobhan Gearing Siobhan Gearing, founder of the group, which has more than 15,000 supporters on Facebook, added: “We plan to explain in real terms what the ‘proposed emerging options’ can mean for the future of our health services & collate answers to our own survey.

“We plan to give the answers to the Success Regime, MPs and the hospital trust. 

"It is vital that those able to attend this event do and tell us what they want.”