Saturday, October 28, 2006

Save our Hospital continued

The future of West Cumberland Hospital is still the subject of a great deal of controversy.

It does appear that the report by the management consultants Gibson, Freake and Edge, who suggest that retaining two Acute hospitals in North Cumbria is "unaffordable" has not yet become the policy of the NHS trusts. However, if we sit back and do nothing, there is every chance that it could.

It has not escaped campaigners for the Community Hospitals in Cumbria, such as those in Millom and Keswick, that they are also still in jeopardy. There are a number of reasons for this: one of the main ones is Gordon Brown's budget controls. Another is that too much of the money given to the NHS is going on administration - most of the jobs taken on in the NHS in the past nine years have been administrative rather than medical staff. The NHS has more estates and admin staff than beds and is taking on managers even while it is making nurses redundant. If we scrapped most of Labour's 400 NHS targets we could redeploy some of those resources to front line patient care and there would be less threat to our hospitals.

The people of Cumbria need to campaign for all our local hospitals - or we risk losing them.

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