12th September 2013
Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed, has reacted to the announcement of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust regarding the delay in the acquisition by Northumbria. He said:
“I wrote to Jeremy Hunt about the acquisition and staff shortages across North Cumbria in June – before the Keogh report was published. Sadly, the Health Secretary has pointedly failed to address the issues. I have repeatedly warned that the merger would be likely to be delayed and this continuing uncertainty places staff and services in limbo and makes it even harder to recruit staff.
“Clinical and financial sustainability across North Cumbria requires more resources. Without this, recruitment can’t happen and clinical performance can’t improve. The government knows this, yet has taken little interest to date, despite the repeated warnings. The Keogh report isn’t the reason for this delay, the incompetence of government is.
“I fully support the service review undertaken by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who told me directly that there was ‘nothing wrong that couldn’t be fixed’ in either of our hospitals. The Keogh report has been knowingly distorted and abused across the NHS and it must not be used as a smokescreen with which to justify cutting services.
“Everyone wants the very best medical outcomes for patients and this means that we need clarity and stability.
“Jim Mackey’s commitment to the acquisition process isn’t in doubt. On September 30th I will be holding a health summit to flush out the current and future challenges facing our local health services and to develop an acceptable way forward. But right now, North Cumbria and Northumbria Health Trusts, our local medical staff and crucially, patients, are bearing the brunt of the chaos running throughout government health policy.”