Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Maternity at West Cumberland:

People of all political persuasions and none, including myself obviously, here in West Cumbria have been campaigning to keep services at West Cumberland Hospital and exercising our rights to say so under the terms of the consultation now under way.

The Prime Minister has written to the local MP explaining what she has been advised the "success regime" think about the maternity proposals as you can read here.

This does not mean that individual members of her party are required to support the "success regime" proposals where we think they are not in the interests of the area and I hope and suspect local residents in West Cumbria will step up the pressure.

Success Regime Consultation raised at Prime Minister's Questions

The provision of 24 hour emergency care at West Cumberland Hospital was raised today at Prime Minister's Question time.

The "Preferred option" recommended by the "Success Regime" is to retain that cover but there are other options which would not and it is important to send a strong message.

The consultation is still open and will remain so until December - if you have not yet had your say please do so at

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Health minister visits West Cumbria - and his schedule allows 75 minutes for WCH to CIC

I was delighted to see that health minister Philip Dunne visited West Cumberland Hospital this week.

I was even more pleased to see that the people who prepared his schedule allowed an hour and a quarter for him to get from West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. (He was quoted in the News and Star as saying that the journey did indeed take over an hour.)

Local newspapers suggested that campaigners for hospital services were "angry" about this.

I understand their reaction and this is a point that everyone who cares about hospital services in West Cumbria should certainly be making, but I'm not going to pretend to be cross: actually I'm jumping up and down in delight.

Because by allowing a realistic time to get from West Cumbria to the Carlisle hospital, the Trust has completely undermined their arguments about the impact on patient safety of expecting patients who require time-critical surgery to get to hospital in Carlisle within the "golden hour."

They've not so much blown any arguments against full 24 hour A&E care and consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital out of the water as dropped a nuclear bomb on them.