Showing posts from February, 2005

Hospital consultation - three days to go !

Back to the subject of local hospitals. The consultation on the future of local acute hospital services in West Cumbria (and the rest of North Cumbria) closes at the end of this month. If you are a North Cumbria resident and have views about our hospitals which you have not sent in to the NHS trust, I strongly recommend that you let them know what you think. If you're reading this you must have email and internet access, so I suggest that you email the trusts on before 28th February 2005.

Watch out for the Politics show this Sunday

The BBC in the North East and Cumbria are looking at battleground constituencies for each party in the run up to the General Election. They are expecting to do a short piece on Copeland on the politics show this coming Sunday lunchtime (12.30 BBC One in the North) I was interviewed yesterday and then filmed talking to local voters in a pub in Whitehaven. Compared to our canvass returns - which are encouraging - the people in the pub were too small a sample to be meaningful in statistical terms, but some of the views expressed were interesting. There were one or two who said they would vote Conservative, most of the rest were floating voters. There was considerable distrust for politicians of all parties, but especially for New Labour. The main concerns raised were jobs, housing, the need to improve road and rail transport links, and education. Crime, drugs, immigration and Europe were also brought up, and the war in Iraq is still an issue for many people. I certainly enjoyed the evenin

Fight against A595 De-Trunking: Public Inquiry

The Highways Agency, a quango accountable to the government's transport department, wants to de-trunk the A595 and A5092, which means that responsiblity for these roads would be transferred to the County Council and that they would be moved to a lower status in the road hierarchy. This proposal reminds me of Dorothy Parker's review of a bad book. Her comment was that it should "not be lightly tossed aside, but should be hurled with great force." If we're going to protect jobs and businesses in West Cumbria we need better transport links, not worse ones. The money available to Cumbria County council to maintain these roads if they were de-trunked and handed over to the council would probably be about half what is currently spent. And it is also likely that less money would also be provided to improveme the roads. The A595 is the only major road serving a large chunk of Cumbria, including the town of Millom, a large number of villages including Seascale, Beckermet,

Hundreds attend hospital meeting

I was delighted to see a good crowd at Whitehaven Civic Hall for the hospitals public meeting. I suspect there were probably about three hundred people present. The meeting was organised by the local NHS Trusts as part of their review of acute hospital services in the North Cumbria NHS area (which includes West Cumbria.) Some interesting announcements by the Trust - it was confirmed that although it is more likely that they will want to build a new hospital on a new site in West Cumbria they have not ruled out the possibility of refurbishing the existing site. One particularly interesting quote from the Chief Executive of the Acute Services NHS Trust, Marie Burnham, was that if Downing Street had their way there would only be one district general hospital for North Cumbria. She also said that there had been no capital investment in the West Cumberland for ten years up until about 18 months ago - referring to the money spent since then as being due to better financial management. The ev

Hospital public meeting: One day to go

The public meeting to discuss the future of local hospitals in North and West Cumbria is to be held at Whitehaven Civic Hall at 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday 15th February 2005) Anyone who cares about the local health service should be there if at all possible. See previous post for more details.

Hospital public meeting: 2 days to go !!!

Anyone in West Cumbria who might ever need to use the local health services in this part of the world and is able to do so should try to attend the Public Meeting in Whitehaven Civic Hall at 7pm on Tuesday 15th February. The NHS trusts covering North and West Cumbria are carrying out a consultation on the future of local acute hospital services. Their proposals include the closure of the West Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven and its replacement by a new hospital somewhere in West Cumbria on a site to be determined. The Trusts propose that the new hostpital will provide emergency services with ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit), Maternity and children's services. It is planned to "move post-acute patients to community healthcare settings" and "make specialist rehabilitation services more community based." What is not clear is where the new hospital will be, how many beds it will have, or what level of Accident & Emergency and ITU will be provided. I believe it is