15th July 2014
Further cuts “unacceptable and non-negotiable” – Jamie Reed
Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed has responded to the leaked interim Cumbria Local Health Economy Strategic Plan. The plan, produced by the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group in partnership with local hospital trusts, has been produced under instruction from the government.
Jamie Reed said:
“I’m disturbed but not surprised by some of the details in this leaked report. The last four years of chaos in the NHS, brought about as a direct result of government policy, have damaged the Cumbrian health economy more than any of us have truly understood.
“Plans such as these are being drawn up all over the country at the insistence of government and we can now see that David Cameron’s promise of a ‘bare knuckled fight’ to protect services such as maternity units in smaller district general hospitals was a cynical lie.
“This leaked plan talks of ‘austerity in the NHS’ and ‘radical change on a scale previously unseen.’ At the heart of this plan is the need to cut services to save money. This is not a purely clinical driven process, but increasingly a financial one.
“The report makes it clear that Copeland and Carlisle have the worst health outcomes in the county – and this underlines the stupidity of any proposals to further remove services from the West Cumberland Hospital.
“The report reveals a hitherto unreported, new review of maternity services across North Cumbria and talks of the ‘consolidation of some urgent care and acute medicine’ at the Cumberland Infirmary. It also talks of hospital service reconfiguration – all of this is thinly disguised code for removing services from the West Cumberland Hospital.
“Further service withdrawal is unacceptable and non-negotiable – the people, patients and medical professionals of West Cumbria are not being treated with any respect whatsoever. That is why I am calling on the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group to attend a public meeting in Whitehaven so that they can explain their secret plans and spell out in detail what this means for the West Cumberland Hospital and the people of West Cumbria.”