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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Battle to bring back A&E picks up steam

THE campaign to return Accident and Emergency facilities to Kendal hospital is moving ahead quite fast.

Tim Farron
Tim Farron

After my column in the Evening Mail the other week I learned the hospitals trust that runs Westmorland General Hospital (along with Barrow and Lancaster Hospitals and the Health Centre in Ulverston) is planning to conduct a review of the services that it provides across all of its sites.

Reviews on this scale do not come along very often and it is the perfect opportunity for them to decide to return A&E to Kendal. So I am warning you, be ready to sign the petitions when they come along and attend any events we organise to show the strength of feeling on this issue around here.

We have learned through all of our campaigns for improved health services at Kendal that what really swings things in our direction is an evident strength of feeling amongst the people affected.

Given that, I imagine, almost everyone in South Lakeland wants the reassurance of emergency health care within easy reach, even if they pray they will not have to use it, I am confident that this campaign will be a major one that large numbers of people will get behind.

On the subject of health, I had the opportunity to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at Treasury questions in the House Of Commons the other day, to renegotiate some of the Private Finance Initiatives that the previous government put in place for hospitals. Some of these contracts are quite simply ripping us off.

The Chancellor seemed to be well aware of the issue as he gave the example of a hospital in the North of Cumbria where, as part of the contract, they have to pay £466 to replace a light fitting. All of this is money that could be used to fund more doctors and nurses. He said the government is currently trying to renegotiate these contracts to provide us all with better value for money and we should hope an even better service, I will keep checking to see what progress he is making.

This is my last column before Christmas and so I want to wish you all a great time. I shall be working until the weekend before then taking a few days off with my wife and children before climbing back into the saddle ready for more campaigning in 2013. However, don’t let my absence from the office deter you from getting in touch about any issues, or to give your support to the campaign for the return of A&E to Kendal hospital. Every email or letter you write and every phone message you leave will be responded to as soon as we possibly can.

Have a very Merry Christmas and thanks for your support.

Have your say

Is Tim Farron The Last Samurai?
Only asking as he is involved in more 'battles' then Mr Woodcock and Mr Reed put together.

Posted by Tony on 13 December 2012 at 21:40

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