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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Public meeting to air hospital concerns

A PUBLIC meeting will take place to raise concerns about the future of services at West Cumberland Hospital.

Residents in Copeland have repeatedly called for services not to be transferred from the Whitehaven hospital to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary.

Concerns have also been raised about the seeming shift in services, and Carlisle’s ability to cope.

The pressure group, Campaigning for a Safer West Cumberland Hospital, is lobbying health chiefs to attend the meeting at the Recreation Ground, Whitehaven, on September 29 at 7pm.

Mum-of-two Siobhan Gearing has invited politicians and a number of health chiefs from North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust – which runs the two sites – to attend the meeting, and is awaiting their reply.

However, Copeland MP Jamie Reed has already confirmed he will attend and the campaign group has revealed that retired consultant Mahesh Dhebar will be one of the speakers.

Mr Dhebar has made public his fears that safety will be “used as an excuse” to move more and more services,

Mrs Gearing said: “The hospital trust is still not listening to us, so we’re moving onto the next step and holding a public meeting.

“We want as many people as possible to turn up and show we’re not backing down.”

A Trust spokeswoman said: “We are in contact with Siobhan Gearing and have received notification of a meeting she is organising.”

Emotions are running high after leaked reports to The Whitehaven News revealed discussions are to take place about the possibility of downgrading Whitehaven’s maternity service to a midwife-led unit only.

This could mean women deemed ‘low-risk’ could give birth in Whitehaven but those considered high-risk – or who may become high-risk at any stage – would have to travel 40 miles by ambulance to Carlisle.

However, the trust said the reports are discussion documents only, as part of a wider review of all north Cumbrian health services.

It says any proposed permanent changes would require full public consultation.

Have your say

With ambulances being used to transfer patients to Carlisle n other hospitals ,what happens if we have a major accident at nights there are only three ambulances covering west cumbria ,more babies and serious ill patients are going to die if any more services are taking away fron west Cumberland hospital.

Posted by Ij s. on 27 August 2014 at 22:09

Sally in case you didn't know NCUH had one of thr highest death rates in the country, families have already been devastated. This is not a political battle but a challenge to the hospital for honesty . the quality of care by the frontline staff has never been in doubt. They are working under stress because they cannot give what in their hearts is the best care.they also do not know what the future holds for them, no one has given them a clear answer. I do know staff have left because their only option was to work in Carlisle, most of them cannot travel the distance because of family commitments or lack of transport. This safety conscious trust expects staff to travel two hours extra a day even back shift to first shift, getting home at probably 11 pm and back on the road at 5.30am. They don't care about safety they care about COST. No one denies the PFI is a large part of the problem strange the Conservative government makes no allowance in funding for a supposedly labour tactics they could make headway in doing that. Grow up Sally the group can't make you give up nursing if anything they have supported the nursing staff more than the managers have.they may not be delivering good news but the truth is never easy.

Posted by Sully on 27 August 2014 at 17:41

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