In the wake of the destruction and disruption caused by the recent flooding, Copeland MP Jamie Reed has secured a debate in Parliament on access to health services in West Cumbria.
The disruption caused by the flooding led to Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle to be powered by a back-up generator leading to cancellations of appointments. The Copeland MP has now said the recent disruption has now proved the case for retaining services at West Cumberland Hospital beyond doubt. Jamie Reed has been a vocal advocate of retaining services at West Cumberland Hospital, previously saying that the Trust should not asset strip the new hospital. The Copeland MP also secured a visit to the region by NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, which led to the creation of the Success Regime.
The debate comes in the context of the recent flooding. The conditions caused by Storm Desmond meant roads were impassable meaning getting to Carlisle was almost impossible. This, Jamie Reed says ‘shows the folly of moving services from the West Cumberland to Carlisle.’
The debate will be the last piece of business in the House of Commons before Christmas and Jamie Reed has pledged to give the Government ‘a lot to think about over the holidays’.
Copeland MP, Jamie Reed said:
“My thoughts and best wishes are with the thousands of people across our county who are affected by the flooding. Cumbrians are a resilient bunch and the community spirit on display is really heartening. Praise, too, must go to the emergency services who have worked tirelessly in dreadful conditions to help those in need.
“I’ve called on the Government to create an Infrastructure and Resilience Commission so that we can plan for the future, ensure access to services at times of crisis and to ensure our creaking infrastructure can cope with what it needs to. The recent flooding has also shown the disruption these crises can cause to our key public services such as healthcare.
“Longstanding concerns at West Cumberland Hospital are well known, but the events of the last week have shown the sheer folly of moving services from the West Cumberland Hospital to Carlisle. When roads become impassable, when emergency services can’t get through and when ambulances are needed, it would be patients that suffer. A comprehensive Accident and Emergency Department, consultant-led maternity and paediatric services must remain at West Cumberland Hospital. Rain in the Lake District shouldn’t become a health emergency due to lack of access to services. The recent disruption has now proved the case for retaining services at West Cumberland Hospital beyond doubt and the Trust must acknowledge this.”