Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hospital petition extended

In January I and colleagues started colecting signatures on a petition to support Cumbrian hospitals and against the imposition of CATS on the national model.

CATS stands for "Clinical Assessment, Treatment and Support." It is designed to provide extra capacity for diagnosis and treatment by involving the private sector, but there are concerns that it might have an adverse effect on existing hospital services.

In the words of the Cumbria County Council's Overview and Scrutiny report "There is therefore a real threat of destabilising local services."

The North Cumbria Acute trust response to the consultation went even further and stated that implementaion of CATS as outlined in the consultation document would present an "immediate threat to the viability of some emergency services currently provided by the Trust."

Since the "Great debate" on local hospital services which the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) began earlier this year has been extended, local Conservatives have extended the petition on which we are collecting signatures.

It reads as follows:

"We the undersigned ·

Insist that District General Hospital services, including maternity, Accident and Emergency, Orthopaedics, and Paediatrics, must continue to be provided in Copeland·

Note that the great majority of local clinicians and NHS managers believe that the government’s CATS contract, if imposed in its original form, could result in service closures in West Cumbria·

Call on the Department of Health, Strategic Health Authority, and PCT not to impose the CATS model on Cumbria either in its original form or any other variant which is likely to reduce either Acute or Community hospital provision in West Cumbria or elsewhere in the county."

Anyone who would like to sign this petition can contact me by leaving a comment here. There is also a petition supporting West Cumbria's hospitals and against CATS on the Downing Street website.


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