Sign up to save hospital services
Last updated at 13:29, Thursday, 03 March 2011
IF you hadn’t already noticed, it was recently announced that the body which looks after the West Cumberland Hospital – the North Cumbria Acute Hospitals Trust – is now seeking to merge with another trust, after being forced by government to make cuts it simply cannot yet do.
By being forced to go too far, too fast, the trust will now effectively become taken over by another organisation.
Under new government rules, the Trust could be taken over by “any willing provider,” meaning a private healthcare company, charity or voluntary group and not necessarily any body with any links to or regard for the NHS.
The prospects for services in West Cumbria and Millom are now, at best confused, but more accurately, the prognosis does not look good.
You will remember that only very recently we agreed upon a model of healthcare in Copeland called “Closer to Home”.
This plan was meant to provide a new acute district hospital on the site of the West Cumberland Hospital, improve tertiary care services at Carlisle and thereby bring services back into Cumbria from the Norh East and rebuild community hospitals such as the Millom cottage hospital, so that improved integrated care could be provided in South Copeland.
Now, the future of the new Millom hospital is uncertain.
The government has drastically reduced the budget for the new West Cumberland Hospital.
Under new government legislation, local GPs are expected to commission (buy) services at our local hospitals.
Last year, the cost of providing services at Whitehaven and Carlisle was £183m.
As things stand, GPS are now only prepared to commission £153m of services.
I need your help to win this fight. Petitions have been rolled out across the borough and are being returned to me thick and fast – thousands of signatures have been gathered so far.
E-mail my office at firstname.lastname@example.org for your own petition to print off and take to work, or to simply ask neighbours to sign.
Closer to Home must be delivered, Millom Hospital must receive the investments we have been promised and services at the West Cumberland Hospital must be maintained at their current levels, as a minimum.
People power can work – nobody should ever wait for a politician in order to make their voice heard.
We have already shown with the forestry campaign that we can make the government listen – it’s time to make them understand that they cannot get away with the dismantling and backdoor privatisation of our NHS: sign up to save our hospital services.
First published at 13:28, Thursday, 03 March 2011
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
They seem to have already mergd the Ambulance service.When I lived in Barrow i was the Cumbria Ambulnce Service.Now it's the North West Ambulance Service.
Mr Reed. Didn't Mr Blair, Mr Brown and their succession of 'health ministers' do exactly the same merge health authorities and trusts into bigger and bigger entities, over 13 long years?It isn't right. Medical services NEED local accountability but that concept is totally lost on blue, red and yellow politicians and it has to be said the crony style of management that earns a fortune from such mergers.