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Friday, 25 April 2014

Let’s make 2013 year we win hospital fight

WELL it seems like we are well into 2013 already. Parliament has returned and I am settling back into the routine of travelling from Milnthorpe to London and back each week.

Tim Farron
Tim Farron

As I said in my last column, I intend to hit the ground running in 2013 and am in the process of sending out over 40,000 petitions for the return of acute medical services to Westmorland General Hospital. As I write we already have over 1,000 signatures, which is amazing given the short time the campaign has been running.

This must be a sign that people in South Lakeland really don’t like the thought of having to travel a long distance for emergency treatment. It simply makes no sense and cannot be safe for people to have to travel past our hospital in Kendal to get treatment for heart problems or whatever other misfortune they suffer from.

Support from 1,000 people is great but we need so many more if we are to make an impact on the hospital trust’s decisions in the coming months over which services they are going to provide at each of the major hospitals that they run around here.

So please, as soon as you receive a petition sign it, get all your friends and family to sign it and return it to me. If you cannot wait for the petition to arrive through your letterbox then you can sign on line by going to my website (www.timfarron.co.uk) entering “petition” into the search box and signing up there.

You can even download a signature sheet to take around your friends and family and ask them to sign, before returning it as quickly as you can.

As I said we have sent out 40,000 petitions. When we were urging the trust not to close down our Accident and Emergency facilities we managed to get the support of 27,000 people, it would be great if we could beat that this time.

There are about 120,000 people within the catchment of Westmorland General Hospital (rising to nearly 160,000 when the Lakes are full of visitors, possibly more in a good summer – please do remember to ask any friends who visit the area to sign) and so 27,000, although an impressive number, is still less than a quarter of those who would benefit.

Please help us with our campaign. Find the missing 90,000 and ensure that they sign the petition this time around, As well of course as those who have signed in the past.

People are already benefitting from the chemotherapy facilities that we fought so successfully for. The return of A&E would benefit so many more people.

Here’s to a successful campaign in 2013.

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