28th May 2014
Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed has responded to the publication of Freedom of Information requests that have revealed that the West Cumberland Hospital was recently forced into such financial distress that it was threatened with the disconnection of its electricity supply.
Jamie Reed said:
Jamie Reed said:
“Patients will be rightly concerned over reports that the Government has forced North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust into this position. Those lying in hospital beds should not have to worry that the power company is going to switch off the electricity supply to the hospital, yet this is the situation our hospital recently found itself in.
“I’ve repeatedly called for the Trust to be helped financially, as help was always forthcoming from the last government. I wrote to Jeremy Hunt seeking this bailout months ago and he refused to help. It says something about government policy when the trust has to be driven to the edge of bankruptcy before the government will act. The government wasted the best part of £4 billion in an unwanted top-down reorganisation that was kept hidden from the public before the last general election, and our Trust has suffered terribly from this. I intend to keep on making the case for more resources – we won’t solve the staffing shortfall or get the services we need without these.
“Over the last few months, we have seen the fantastic work of the local campaigns in our communities in Millom, in Whitehaven and in West Cumbria as a whole. People are genuinely concerned for the future of their hospital services, and as Government ministers sit on their hands and do nothing, the Trust is working with its hands tied.
“Just a few weeks ago, I asked David Cameron to support my campaign to support services at West Cumberland Hospital and he refused. Given the latest developments to be made public, concerns will continue to grow. These latest revelations are an unacceptable scandal.”