[T]he new Conservative MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison, has welcomed the launch of the professionally-led review into local maternity services which she called for during the recent by-election.
It is just one week since Trudy was officially sworn in as Copeland’s new Member of Parliament, but she has used that time to make sure Copeland’s voice is heard in Westminster.
Following Trudy’s meetings with Health Ministers, and her community-driven campaign during the by-election, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has commissioned the Royal College of Anaesthetists to review the anaesthetic arrangements for maternity provision at West Cumberland Hospital. Recruiting and retaining the specially trained staff is key to providing this important local service.
Experts from the independent Royal College will visit West Cumberland Hospital next month, and prepare a report by May for local health bosses.
The launch of the review which Trudy called for comes alongside recommendations to the Governing Body of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group this morning which suggest retaining consultant-led services at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital for a year to see if they will be sustainable.
Trudy Harrison said: “My pledge to support consultant-led maternity services at WCH remains. I’m very glad that this review which I called for has been launched in my first week as Copeland’s new MP.
“Everyone involved in local health services must now get behind that review and the recruitment and retention campaign to secure the staff we need now and in the future.
“That is my priority. I’ll be hands-on to make sure it happens, and I welcome everyone’s help in doing this. We must all work hard to promote our hospital, our area and the opportunities to live, work and learn in Copeland – and that’s what I’ll do as your Member of Parliament.”
Sue Hayman MP for Workington, responding to the Success Regime’s decision on services at West Cumberland Hospital, said:
“For the health of pregnant women and their babies in West Cumbria, we welcome the retention of consultant-led maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital, albeit for twelve months. But it’s imperative that action is taken immediately to recruit the adequate number of paediatricians in order to make the service viable in the long-term.
“To downgrade the children’s ward is the thin end of the wedge. The Tories’ real intentions are clear; services at West Cumberland Hospital are still under threat and local people are left with yet more uncertainty.
“I am disappointed at plans to remove the in-patient beds from the community hospitals in Maryport, Wigton and Alston. It’s important that we get more detail on the proposed process of co-production with local stakeholders in order to deliver alternative care options in our communities.
“Decisions made about health services in West Cumbria must be based on clinical need, not costs. Local people will accept nothing less than the high-quality service they deserve, delivered as close to their homes as possible.”