Showing posts from December, 2005

On a lighter note – Susan Pevensie Lives !!

I’ve been posting some fairly serious things in the past few days, many of them quite depressing, but I am looking forward to taking my twin son and daughter to the cinema for their first time in the near future when “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” comes out. There was a time when I would never have expected that C.S. Lewis’s wonderful fantasies could be portrayed adequately on screen but I would have said the same of the work of his friend J.R.R. Tolkien. And look what a good job they made of “The Lord of the Rings”. By all accounts the new Narnia film is supposed to be both brilliant and true to the books, and it has provoked a lot of discussion, mostly positive. However, there is one particular comment about the Narnia stories which has cropped up in a lot of reviews and online discussions which is quite wrong and really gets to me, so on a lighter note – here is the truth about Susan ! C.S. Lewis made clear that the Narnia stories are primarily just that – stories to enter

Health in West Cumbria

There was an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Monday of this week about NHS Services in West Cumbria. Adjournment debates provide a half hour slot for a backbench MP to raise with a minister an issue of concern to him or her, usually something affecting the welfare of people in the constituency he or she represents. Time is strictly limited: the form is that someone proposes “That this house do now adjourn,” then the MP or MPs raising the debate gets 15 minutes to explain what they are worried about, and the relevant minister gets 15 minutes to reply. Then the motion is carried and everyone goes home. I was pleased to learn that one of these debates had been allocated to discuss the serious problems affecting healthcare in West Cumbria and looked up Hansard (the record of everything said in parliament) the following day to see what came up in the debate. This was a valuable opportunity for the MP for Copeland to raise the many concerns affecting health in the constituency.

Don’t drop your guard!

On the face of it, the decision to postpone consultations on proposals to emasculate Millom Community hospital, as well as half a dozen other community hospitals around Cumbria, is to be welcomed. I am certainly pleased that the local NHS trusts and the Strategic Health Authority appear to have woken up to the depth of public support for local community hospitals and the harm which major cuts in the services they provide would do. But the hospitals have only had a reprieve: we are not out of the woods yet. Underlying problems with money and recruitment & retention still remain for the NHS in Cumbria and need to be tackled. And after all, we have been here before. Last year, when the review of services was launched and it was suggested that Millom Community hospital might be adversely affected, the Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust came to a public meeting in Millom and stated that there were no plans to close Millom Hospital. I am not suggesting that this statement was made