[W]est Cumbrian MP Jamie Reed has yesterday evening hosted a public meeting, in Whitehaven, on the future of Health Services in West Cumbria.
The meeting, which was attended by hundreds of members of the public, gave local people the opportunity to put their questions and comments to the Chair of the West, North and East Cumbria Success Regime, Sir Neil McKay.
The Success Regime, which has been appointed by Government, is expected to propose changes to West Cumbria’s challenged Health Economy when it publishes its formal consultation document on Monday 26th September.
The Copeland MP chaired the meeting firmly and fairly, inviting questions from the floor. The audience, which included parents and retired practitioners spoke passionately and from the heart on topics ranging from the vital need for the retention of 24 hour consultant led maternity and pediatric services at the West Cumberland Hospital, to beds at Community Hospitals in Millom and Keswick.
Sir Neil Mckay discussed the option of a dedicated ambulance to transfer maternity patients from Whitehaven to Carlisle, and this proposal was met with opposition by both attendees and the local MP.
Jamie Reed concluded the meeting by stating publicly that he will oppose, in the strongest terms, any recommendation to remove 24 hour consultant led services from the West Cumberland Hospital. He also called for the previously promised release of the funding in full for phase two of the redevelopment of the West Cumberland Hospital.
The MP went on to explain that if the Success Regime recommends the removal of 24 hour consultant led maternity services from the West Cumberland Hospital, that he will encourage local people put a line through the consultation document, and write “24hr CLU @ WCH” in its place. He will also encourage local people to write “[email protected]” on their consultation responses to ensure that the local community’s voice on the full release of funding is heard by the Regime.
Copeland MP, Jamie Reed said: “Now is a crucial moment for the future of Health Services in West Cumbria, and I am grateful to all those who attended my public meeting this evening to ensure that their voices are heard by the Chair of the Success Regime.
“I absolutely share the view of my community that 24 hour consultant led services must be retained and improved at the West Cumberland Hospital, that the full funds for phase two of its redevelopment must be released, and that beds at the Keswick and Millom Hospitals must be protected.
“The formal consultation stage of the Success Regime process will begin on Monday, and I encourage everyone to participate in the consultation, to ensure that their voices are heard.
“If the Regime recommends the removal of 24 hour consultant led units from the West Cumberland Hospital, I will be putting a line through the response document, and writing “24hr CLU @ WCH”. I will also be writing “Phase2 @ WCH” to demonstrate my support for the release of this funding. I will encourage my community to do the same.”