[S]ue Hayman, MP for Workington, has today written to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, demanding assurance that West Cumbria will receive the healthcare investment that it needs to accompany the nuclear new-build at Moorside.
In her letter, Sue said: “As you will know, West Cumbria is about to see welcome and important investment in the form of a new nuclear power station at Moorside. During the construction of the power station, West Cumbria will see an influx of 4000 additional construction workers and their families. This imminent major population increase means that it is vital that the government commits to fully funding and resourcing the West Cumberland Hospital, our community hospitals, and the critical infrastructure needs of our area.
“The government must take into account the increase in population associated with Moorside when considering the ongoing review of services being provided at the West Cumberland Hospital. The Success Regime’s options would see further service reductions at a time when they will be needed more than ever. The current proposals are completely unacceptable – and an increased population will only make the situation worse.
“I raised my significant concerns during a recent meeting with the Success Regime, and was told that the people moving into the area would be low users of NHS services, and therefore this was not an issue that needed to be taken into account. However, it is clear that many workers will have families and likely young children, who are of course high users of NHS services, including of A&E, the children’s ward and the maternity wing – all of which are proposed to be downgraded or moved.
“It is clear to me that the people of West Cumbria urgently need adequate investment from the Government in our local healthcare system to go alongside the new jobs and growth associated with Moorside.”