Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wishing you a happy Easter

A very happy Easter to everyone reading this, especially patients and staff at West Cumberland Hospital, Millom Community Hospital, and the Mary Hewitson Cottage Hospital in Keswick

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Award Scheme launched

The NHS in Cumbria has launched an award scheme to reward and celebrate good work, which was inaugurated this week at West Cumberland Hospital

Friday, March 14, 2008

PCT approves "Closer to Home" revised proposals

Cumbria's Primary Care Trust has approved this week the amended version of the "Closer to Home" proposals for the future of NHS services in the northern two-thirds of the county.

The revised proposals include at least 220 beds at the West Cumberland hospital or its successor and that the hospital will continue to provide trauma care.

This is not the end of the story: we must continue to ensure that there is public involvement in protecting a full range of hospital services in Cumbria.

The trust's decision has been seen as paving the way to replace the West Cumberland Hospital with a new acute hospital in West Cumbria. However, there remains a great deal of uncertainty over where any new hospital will be and how it will be funded.

We must not get into a situation where money has to be diverted from patient care and providing health services to pay for new buildings.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Closer to Home" announcement expected soon

It has been suggested in the local papers that we might get some indication of the progress of the closer to home consultation in the coming fortnight. I suspect the local NHS Trusts will need a longer period of reflection to decide anything meaningful, but it will be interesting to see what they say at their forthcoming meetings.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Foundation Trust application to be delayed by resignation ?

Representatives of the North Cumbria Acute Hospitals trust (which manages West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle) gave a presentation at the Keswick Neighbourhood Forum this evening about the plans to apply for Foundation Trust status.

One of the issues mentioned was that the leadership of trusts seeking foundation status is reviewed and has to be seen to be strong.

In this context I asked whether the recently announced resignation of Eric Urquhart as Chairman of the Trust will affect or delay the application for FOundation Trustt status.

We were advised that the Trust would have to have their leadership in place before they could gain foundation status, so it is possible that the vacancy might cause some delay.