Monday, November 19, 2007

CATS proposals abandoned

I welcome the news that the CATS proposals for Cumbria and Lancashire have been dropped.

The Health Secretary made a written statement last week with a list of Health Service proposals which were being dropped because the NHS director general had concluded that "they were unlikely to provide acceptable value for money as the local NHS has successfully improved capacity to meet patients' needs."

These included the Cumbria and Lancashire "Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service" or CATS.

Thousands of people in West Cumbria signed either the petition which local doctors organised against CATS or the similar petition organised by local Conservatives.

The problem with the CATS proposal is that it was a "one size fits all" solution which was not right for Cumbria and would have jeopardised existing local services, particularly at the West Cumberland hospital but probably also at local Community hospitals including Millom and Keswick.

We were not necessarily against new services, but the numbers on the national CATS contract did not seem to add up in the view of local hospital managers or doctors.


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