Saturday, April 30, 2016

Countdown - four days to the first public meetings about our health

Reminder: very important we have a good turnout to support our hospitals at the local public meetings organised by the "Success Regime" to discuss proposed changes in the NHS in Cumbria.

First two meetings in four days' time:

Wednesday 4th May 1pm-2:30pm: Guide Hall, St. George's Rd, Millom...
Wednesday 4th May 7pm-9pm: Solway Hall (Whitehaven Civic Hall), 75 Lowther St, Whitehaven

Friday, April 29, 2016

Public Meetings on health services in Cumbria

There is a set of extremely important public meetings about health services in Cumbria organised under the so-called "success regime" and starting next week.

The dates, times and venues for the meetings are:
  • Wednesday 4th May 1pm-2:30pm: Guide Hall, St. George's Rd, Millom
  • Wednesday 4th May 7pm-9pm: Solway Hall (Whitehaven Civic Hall), 75 Lowther St, Whitehaven
  • Thursday 5th May 12:30pm-2:30pm: Function Room, Skiddaw Hotel, Main Street, Keswick•
  • Thursday 5th May 6:30pm-8:30pm: Maryport Rugby Club, Mealpot Road, Maryport
  • Tuesday 10th May 7pm-9pm: Samuel King's School, Church Rd, Alston
The events will see presentations from clinicians and health service leaders on the Success Regime’s latest emerging thinking, before giving the public a chance to ask questions and also contribute their own views on the best options for the way health and care services should be run in future.

It is really important that we have a strong turnout of local people at these meetings to let everyone know that we value our local hospitals

Sir Neil McKay, the chair of the West, North and East Cumbria Success Regime programme board, said: “These public meetings are part of our engagement programme to ensure we give the public an opportunity to tell us, face-to-face, what they think of our emerging thinking and to contribute their own thoughts and ideas on how we can create an improved and sustainable health service in Cumbria.”

More details on the NHS "Success Regime" website at

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Petition to keep Keswick Hospital Open

Mary Hewetson Cottage Hospital in Keswick is a vital local facility for that part of Cumbria and it is very important to retain it.

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart has expressed his “deep concern” at potential threats to hospital beds as the NHS in Cumbria reviews options, saying the Success Regime should play a greater role in delivering services, not a reduced one.

Mr. Stewart has requested an urgent meeting with Sir Neil McKay, of the Success Regime, and Department of Health minister Ben Gummer to discuss the matters and his “unequivocal backing" of community hospitals in Cumbria

A document released by the Success Regime this month highlights the reasons why Cumbria’s health services are suffering, such as the “super-ageing” population, high levels of ill health and mental ill health, high utilisation of care homes and hospitals, recruitment problems, the geography of the county and “varied relationships” between the public and their health providers.

Mr. Stewart welcomed many of the suggestions to come out of the document.

He said: “Many of the suggested recommendations relating to addressing remote healthcare, and ageing demographics, are very welcome.

“However, I am deeply concerned about the perceived threat to our cottage hospitals, which I shall be supporting in the strongest possible terms.

“Our so-called ‘cottage’ hospitals are treasured locally as an absolutely critical pillar of community healthcare. And I believe very strongly that these hospitals have a greater role to play in delivering healthcare in this part of Cumbria, rather than a reduced role, and I can see no advantage in reducing their scope or centralising services elsewhere.”

He added that financial issues did not always have to dictate closure. “We have shown, in the past years, that local services can be retained even in a challenging financial context. We have preserved services from community ambulances, to snowploughs, to cinemas, to fire engines. Arguably, none of these are as precious as our community hospitals, though, and I resolve to fight any threat to our beloved community hospitals, in no uncertain terms,” said Mr. Stewart.

The community hospital options are contained in a “progress report” on the Success Regime. No decisions have yet been taken.

You can sign a petition to protect the Mary Hewetson hospital in Keswick at