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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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2013 set to be big year for hospitals

A VERY happy new year to all Evening Mail readers. With a major review about to kick off into how health services are provided in the area, 2013 will be a big year for everyone who relies on our local hospitals.

EM John Woodcock
Barrow and Furness Labour MP John Woodcock

So, along with the local economy, I am making it my top new year priority to help lead the campaign for the services we need – including keeping a full consultant-led maternity unit at Furness General Hospital.

This is a worrying time for all of us who care about Britain’s National Health Service. Nationally, David Cameron is breaking his promise not to cut the NHS, with nurses being laid off and waiting times for key treatments going up.

Locally, the Morecambe Bay hospitals trust is having to make significant cuts to its budget at a time when managers are under pressure to sort out recent failings.

There is increasing anxiety that the forthcoming review could put forward a number of unacceptable cuts to health provision in the Furness area, including downgrading FGH’s maternity unit. For all the tragic problems which must be put right, many mums-to-be would be appalled at being forced to travel 50 miles to Lancaster to have their baby.

Hospital managers insist they have not yet formed any plan and want to know what is important to local people. That is good to hear and it is now up to us to speak up.

That means all of us. I am delighted to be supporting local mums – including my wife Mandy – who will be launching the Thousand Voices campaign across Furness this weekend.

The aim is simple: we want as many people as possible to record a short video clip saying why Furness General’s maternity unit is important to them and why they do not want it to be downgraded.

It is like a multi-media petition to save our maternity unit and it could be really powerful if enough people get involved. So look out for volunteers with camera phones who will be recording people’s views over the coming days, or why not record something yourself and email it to SaveFGHMaternity@gmail.com?

We are going to post all the clips we get onto our YouTube channel – go online to www.YouTube.com/SaveFGHMaternity.

The experts in charge of the review have a duty to set out what they think are the best options and why. But they also have a duty to listen to local residents who pay for their health service through their taxes.

And if families speak as one to say they want to keep a full maternity unit here in Barrow, that is what should happen.

Have your say

If you believe what hospital managers say - your on to a hiding to nothing. It is because of the ever increasing army of managers that our NHS is failing. Get rid of these people who are not wanted or needed and are paid stupid salaries. They are not interested in patients or their care and treat staff appallingly. It is not only Maternity sevices they want to move from Barrow Mr. Woodcock as well you know.

Posted by disgusted nhs worker on 6 January 2013 at 18:29

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