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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Momentum gathers for crunch meeting on Furness General Hospital

A CALL to arms has been issued and more than 25,000 leaflets delivered ahead of a meeting called to discuss the future of Furness General Hospital’s maternity services.

Health bosses will tomorrow face the public at an event hosted by organisers of the Thousand Voices campaign, which opposes any downgrading of Barrow’s birthing unit.

Jackie Daniel, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, will be joined on the platform by GPs from the Cumbria and Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, which are responsible for how healthcare funding should be spent by local hospitals.

The meeting will be chaired by Walney mum-of-two and campaign leader, Mandy Telford, supported by her husband, Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock.

Ms Telford said: “We are hoping for a good turnout at The Forum so the trust’s representatives can give straight answers to questions from members of the public who have genuine concerns about the future of our health services.”

Mr Woodcock said: “This is one of the most important public meetings to be held in Furness for many years.

“It is about defending vital health services and making sure we have the right level of maternity provision for this generation and the next.”

Those who want to attend the event, which starts at 6pm, are advised to arrive early, as the auditorium is limited to about 500 seats.

With thousands of leaflets publicising the meeting having been delivered to Furness households, an overspill area will be set up in The Forum foyer, with a video screen showing the events in the main hall.

Those who want to add their voices to the Thousand Voices campaign by recording a video, will be able to do so at the gathering.

Ms Telford said: “We are edging towards our 1,000 total. People are opposed to mums with complicated pregnancies being referred to Lancaster to give birth.”

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