NCUHT fears for sustainability of acute medicine in North Cumbria’s Hospitals

19th June 2014

Shadow Health Minister calls for government intervention to prevent crisis
The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust has issued an unprecedented plea to hospital trusts across the North East of England, seeking the relocation of hospital doctors from the region to North Cumbria. This comes ahead of talks between health chiefs at the West Cumberland Hospital tomorrow at a meeting convened and chaired by Shadow Health Minister and MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed.
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed said:
“I’ve consistently warned of this situation unfolding, most recently in April and this is now approaching crisis point. I want to make it absolutely clear that the men and women at the West Cumberland Hospital are performing incredibly well, offering a good service, in an environment of unprecedented difficulty. It should also be recognised that this affects the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle as well, and what we are looking at are the biggest challenges that hospitals in North Cumbria has ever faced.
“I’m holding a health summit with hospital chiefs this Friday. We need to know what this means for services – is it a back door service removal plan? We need to know what the future services provided by the hospital will be, what has happened to ‘Closer to Home’, what pressures the hospitals are placing upon primary care, ambulance services and more. Make no mistake, every single part of our local health service will be adversely affected if we cannot solve this recruitment crisis.
“Many of these problems are as a direct result of government policy and I have written to the Secretary of State, NHS England Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, and the NHS regulators Monitor and the CQC for assistance. Every time we reach a solution, the goalposts are changed. Developments right across our local health economy are happening in a clandestine way and the picture is one of absolute chaos. Patients, the public and local medical professionals deserve to know what is going on and the case for government intervention is overwhelming.

“My meeting, the first of many, will seek to establish clarity so that we can move forward transparently and be able to ensure that all of the services we need are provided. It is a scandal that government policy has driven us to this point, but we will find the solutions to get back on to a sure footing – we have to.”
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