Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Maternity at WCH gets a stay of execution

After thousands of people took part in the consultation on the "success regime" proposals for hospital services in West, North and East Cumbria, and 91% of them wanted to keep consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital, the Clinical Commissioning Group meeting today granted a 12-moth stay of execution.

The decision could certainly have been worse - they could have gone ahead with the "Preferred option" - but I am not going to be popping the champagne corks about this.

Welcome though it is that the leadership of the NHS in Cumbria say they are going to look at recruitment and retention, it is not going to be as easy to persuade doctors, nurses and other key professionals to come and work for the NHS in Cumbria if the impression is created that the service could be downgraded in 12 months time.

I agree with Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie in a piece he has written for the Whitehaven News tomorrow that we need to campaign together to persuade potential recruits to the maternity and paediatric services in Cumbria that West Cumbria is a fantastic place to live, work and build a career.

It is also absolutely essential that the Trust give appropriate guarantees to potential recruits about their job security.

The campaign to protect services at West Cumbria's hospitals is far from over: it needs to enter a new phase. One which is positive but determined: we are going to make sure we keep our hospital services.


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