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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Hospital march will highlight concerns

A HOSPITAL services march in Whitehaven takes place on Sunday – in the week when Copeland’s MP has called for a further £24million for the redevelopment.

By Gillian Ellison

A peaceful protest has been organised by Mirehouse mother Siobhan Gearing. It is expected that a few hundred people will be taking part.

Marchers are asked to meet at 1.15pm at the gazebo in Market Place.

They will go up one half of King Street then onto Lowther Street where they will make for Castle Park.

MP Jamie Reed, former West Cumberland Hospital consultant Mahesh Dhebar and Christine Wharrier, Hillcrest and Hensingham county councillor, will all be speaking. A road closure order has been granted while the march takes place.

The Facebook campaign group, headed by mum-of-two Mrs Gearing, was launched earlier this year and has gathered around 8,000 signatures on a petition.

Protesters want to ensure that all of the services currently at West Cumberland Hospital remain, and that nothing is transferred to Carlisle or Newcastle.

Mrs Gearing decided to organise a march as she said it was a positive way to show health bosses what the communities want and to hopefully make them listen.

The Copeland MP this week is calling for an extra £24million for the West Cumberland Hospital redevelopment.

Mr Reed, shadow health minister, has written to the NHS Trust Development Authority calling for more money to be made available.

He said: “It’s clear that the hospital project needs more money. The Government has so far refused to engage with these issues, so I have asked the TDA to ensure that all resources necessary are made available – this could be as much as an additional £24m. On top of this, I am seeking talks with the TDA so that once the new hospital is completed, it provides the services that the community expects and deserves as laid out in the ‘Closer to Home’ consultation.”

Have your say

I have just returned from the march, which was a strong expression of local public opinion attended by perhaps 300-400 people and on which everyone involved should be congratulated.

The concern I expressed in a post I made yesterday did not materialise. Perhaps people have learned from the mistakes made a few years ago.

Posted by West Cumbrian Patient on 6 July 2014 at 15:58

I will be attending the march to support my local hospital. I will listen with interest to consultant Mahesh Debar.

I just hope that our MP and the HIllcrest county councillor can resist the temptation to indulge in the kind of awful party-political point-scoring rubbish he spouted at a previous hospital march.

Posted by West Cumbrian Patient on 5 July 2014 at 11:50

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