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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Barrow hospital campaign launched over cuts fears

A MASS leafleting community campaign aimed at defending vital services at Furness General Hospital in Barrow has been launched.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock joined mums and dads on Saturday to begin the delivery of 40,000 Save Our Hospital leaflets to households across the area.

Campaigners hope to collect thousands of signatures to persuade health service decision-makers not to cut vital services at FGH.

The initiative brings together activists from the successful Thousand Voices maternity campaign and the oncology group FGH Cancer Care.

Mr Woodcock said: “Doctors who make the big decisions about the future of our hospital listened to us when we said we needed to keep a full consultant-led maternity unit at Furness General. That was a brilliant result for this community and we are really grateful that they listened.

“But they are under pressure to balance the budget when more government cuts are looming and there are suggestions that the days of district general hospitals are numbered and services should be transferred to bigger regional centres.

“The Save Our Hospital campaign aims to do what it says on the leaflet, and we aim to collect thousands of signatures to show the strength of feeling in our community and urge decision-makers not to let us down.”

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which runs FGH, needed to make year-on-year savings with a target of £18m this financial year.

It is understood the trust is ahead of target with savings of £9.3m without making redundancies.

The glossy leaflets were funded by a Christmas raffle draw which was supported across Furness.

FGH Cancer Care co-ordinator Darren McSweeney said: “The geographical isolation of the Furness area means that travel to regional centres would be a massive problem for the people of this area.

“Despite the government enforced cuts, we need to fight to retain a suitable level of services at our local hospital.

“The people of Furness are rightly passionate about healthcare provision and adding their voices to this campaign will send a clear message to the decision makers that they are prepared to fight for quality local care.”

Thousand Voices campaigner Mandy Telford said: “Government health cuts are continuing and we hear of plans to transfer services to big regional centres. That would be a disaster for Furness.

“We know the people of this community are prepared to do what it takes to save our services at Furness General and we are expecting solid support.”

People wishing to give their support are asked to fill in their details and post the leaflet – there is no need for a stamp.

At the launch, a cheque of £265 was also presented to the Hospital Equipment Fund For Furness, from money raised as part of the campaign.

Have your say

I have read this article twice, is there any definite areas where cuts are planned, as this is unclear in the report.

Posted by June on 26 February 2014 at 14:27

What about forming one huge Campaign group to save hospital services all over the country?
We could all suppport each other,as the NHS is greatly under threat.

Posted by save good hope hospital's services on 25 February 2014 at 13:39

View all 3 comments on this article

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