2nd April 2014
Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland and Shadow Health Minister, today asked the Prime Minister to commit to supporting the campaign to retain consultant-led services at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven. The Prime Minister refused to support the campaign.
The future of services at West Cumberland and the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, has been plunged into doubt recently due to the removal of junior doctors from West Cumberland. Both hospitals are currently undergoing a prolonged process of acquisition by Northumbria Acute Hospitals Foundation Trust and senior local clinicians have warned that both hospitals could “fall over” unless the staff crisis at the West Cumberland Hospital is sorted soon.
Jamie Reed said:
“David Cameron’s confused health policies have plunged hospital services in West Cumbria into absolute chaos. Hospital staff have been left utterly demoralised by this Government’s approach towards the NHS, and local patients and clinicians are incredibly worried about the level of service that the hospital will be able to provide in the future.
“What the people of West Cumbria need now is reassurance that the service they have come to expect from their local hospital is secure. The Prime Minister’s answer to my question in the House of Commons today – pointedly refusing to support the retention of services at the West Cumberland Hospital – did nothing to reassure me or my constituents that services provided by the WCH will be protected. The people of Copeland and West Cumbria deserve better than this.
“The Government’s £3bn top-down reorganisation of the NHS was hidden from the public before the election and has caused massive upheaval in the NHS. Locally, the Government must get a grip of the crisis that it is now inflicting upon the hospitals in West and North Cumbria.
“I will continue to do everything I can to continue to raise this issue with the Government, to ensure that the people of West Cumbria have a first-class healthcare system with consultant led services closer to home. It is time for clarity, stability and honesty regarding our health services. I am now arranging a public meeting, so that we can receive this clarity and so that patients and the public can make their voices heard.”