Picture from the left:
Rachel Holliday, Pam McGowan (journalist News and Star), Lynne and Molly Davies, Carole Woodman, Siobhan Gearing, Mike Bulman (Keswick League of Friends), Jamie Reed, Mahesh Dhebar and Mrs Bulman.
Mahesh Dhebar and I travelled to Westminster to meet Health Minister Ben Gummer on 29 June. We joined our MP Jamie Reed (who arranged the meeting) activists from the We Need West Cumberland Hospital campaign group and Mike Bulman of Keswick Hospital League of Friends. Together we voiced our fears about the future of health and care services for the people of Allerdale and Copeland.
We are facing, amongst other things, the potential withdrawal of all maternity services at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, the closure of community beds across the County and emergency stroke services being based in Carlisle, 60 miles along an inadequate road for some patients.
Mr Gummer was clear that there would be no extra money to prop up a failing system but there would be money for transformation. He would like to see more evidence from rural and remote systems in other countries underpinning the visionary innovative rural healthcare system that the Success Regime was charged with developing, along with meaningful engagement of the community and stakeholders before consultation. This is what we were going to ask for at the meeting!
We appreciated that Ben Gummer agreed to meet us at short notice when Jeremy Hunt cancelled and are also pleased that Mr Gummer will visit Cumbria in the near future.
Cumbria News Journalist Pam McGowan tirelessly reports on health issues and came to Westminster with us. You can see Pam’s report here.