Jamie Reed MP to the Prime Minister: Fulfill the Promises Made by Government About the West Cumberland Hospital

West Cumbrian MP Jamie Reed has written to the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, urging her to fulfil the promises made by Government in the aftermath of the Cumbria Shooting tragedy.

In his letter, the Copeland MP explains that he appreciated Theresa May’s personal call as the then Home Secretary in June 2010 following the tragedy, to inquire if he and his community had everything they needed at that time.

He goes on to set out the importance of a fully functioning hospital in Whitehaven, and that the then Prime Minister gave his personal assurances about the redevelopment of the hospital.

In his letter, Jamie Reed writes “Six years on, the Cumbrian health economy is experiencing the most prolonged period of intense pressure and significant threat it has ever faced….Funding for phase two of the redevelopment of the west Cumberland Hospital has not been released and we are currently subject to the Success Regime process.”

The Copeland MP goes on to explains that the Health Secretary has so far refused his calls to provide local communities with the resources that they need, and he urges Theresa May to intervene to oversee the release of funding for phase two of the redevelopment of the West Cumberland Hospital, and to make a commitment to ensuring that consultant led services, including Accident and Emergency, Maternity, Paediatric and other services are retained and improved at the West Cumberland Hospital.

The Copeland MP writes “as one of your first acts in Office, I now ask that you fulfil the promises made by Government to the people of my community in the aftermath of our darkest hour in modern times”.

Jamie Reed concluded his letter by inviting the Prime Minister to visit the West Cumberland Hospital to see for herself the importance of honouring the promises made to local people.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said:

“Now is the time for the Prime Minister to fulfil the promises made by Government to the people of my community in our darkest hour of modern times.

“Here in West Cumbria, we are united in our determination to build a Health Economy to overcome the unique challenges that we face. However, we have thus far  been treated with utter contempt by Government.

“First the Health Secretary refused to visit West Cumbria to see for himself the unique challenges facing the NHS in this part of the world. He then cancelled a meeting in London with West Cumbrian Health Campaigners, at short notice, to pursue his personal ambition to lead the Conservative Party.

“Then the Under Secretary of State for Care Quality, Ben Gummer MP, answered a Parliamentary Question to say that he would visit the West Cumberland Hospital on 14th July. The visit did not materialise and Ben Gummer has now moved from the Department of Health to the Cabinet Office. 

“Meanwhile, a Conservative MP, whose local Health Services are also subject to the ongoing Success Regime, has been given assurances that his local maternity services will be the first priority of the Regime. Conversely, Government refuse to provide the same assurances to consultant led maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital. This partisan decision is unacceptable and is an insult to local people.

“The way that West Cumbrian communities have been treated has been nothing short of appalling. As such I have tabled a Parliamentary Question, highlighting the fact that Ben Gummer failed to visit the Hospital, and calling on Jeremy Hunt to step up and take responsibility for providing a truly National Health Service, by making the visit himself. I have also reported this behaviour to the Parliamentary procedure committee.

“I sincerely hope that under Theresa May’s new Leadership, this Government will listen to my calls to provide my community with the resources and support that we need to overcome the unique challenges faced by the NHS in our part of the world”.


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