The proposals to cut services at West Cumberland Hospital are dangerous. I am demanding answers from the Tories about why the North West Ambulance Service has made this sudden U-turn when the chief executive of NWAS was clear only weeks ago he believed the plans are dangerous. I smell a rat. The people of Copeland smell a rat, and we deserve answers about the pressure the Government are putting on our local ambulance service.
Here's my letter to Jeremy Hunt in full below:
Dear Jeremy Hunt
The North West Ambulance Trust has previously expressed concerns about the ‘Success Regime’ proposals to remove services from West Cumberland Hospital. I am concerned that the chief executive now says the proposals are safe when his views in the past on this matter have been clear – they’re dangerous. Something does not add up. I have been contacted by frontline staff who worry about the pressure Copeland’s local ambulance services are coming under to support these proposals.
Many people have told me about their concerns about these proposals and I have heard some harrowing stories of people who have had complications during birth and do not believe they or their babies would have survived the journey. If there is to be one ambulance parked at West Cumberland Hospital to take people to Cumberland Infirmary what happens if there are two incidents?
It cannot be the case that the Ambulance Trust is able to deal with the additional journeys that would take place as a result of the proposals. We know already from Cumbria Police that they are being drafted in to move patients too, putting further strain on their resources.
I have total admiration for the staff at the North West Ambulance Service but I worry that their hands are being forced to support these dangerous cuts to our local NHS services.